Afghan Stars [The Documentary]

Episodes

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01Afghan Star: A TV talent show20190821

Sahar Zand is in Kabul for the finals of Afghan Star, a TV talent show that is on the front line of the fight to keep music alive in Afghanistan, following the years of the Taliban regime, when music was banned. In the first of two programmes, she hears from a singer who has been targeted by extremists, meets one of the Taliban’s senior figures to explore the reasons behind the cultural conflict, and follows the votes as the TV audience chooses between the two young finalists.

Afghan Star is much like any other TV talent show – except that its context is a war zone. The studios are guarded by bomb-proof gates and snipers, and the participants arrive by armoured vehicle. It is watched by millions throughout the country – and has led the way in a resurgence of music in Afghanistan despite constant threats. Afghan Star also sees its role as promoting the country’s own traditional music, as a symbol of Afghan cultural identity. With current peace talks that could result in the Taliban again taking control, Afghan Star is at the forefront of the continuing struggle in Afghanistan.

The TV talent show at the forefront of the continuing struggle in Afghanistan

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

01Afghan Star: A TV talent show2019082120190822 (WS)

Sahar Zand is in Kabul for the finals of Afghan Star, a TV talent show that is on the front line of the fight to keep music alive in Afghanistan, following the years of the Taliban regime, when music was banned. In the first of two programmes, she hears from a singer who has been targeted by extremists, meets one of the Taliban’s senior figures to explore the reasons behind the cultural conflict, and follows the votes as the TV audience chooses between the two young finalists.

Afghan Star is much like any other TV talent show – except that its context is a war zone. The studios are guarded by bomb-proof gates and snipers, and the participants arrive by armoured vehicle. It is watched by millions throughout the country – and has led the way in a resurgence of music in Afghanistan despite constant threats. Afghan Star also sees its role as promoting the country’s own traditional music, as a symbol of Afghan cultural identity. With current peace talks that could result in the Taliban again taking control, Afghan Star is at the forefront of the continuing struggle in Afghanistan.

The TV talent show at the forefront of the continuing struggle in Afghanistan

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

01Afghan Star: A Tv Talent Show2019082120190822 (WS)

Sahar Zand is in Kabul for the finals of Afghan Star, a TV talent show that is on the front line of the fight to keep music alive in Afghanistan, following the years of the Taliban regime, when music was banned. In the first of two programmes, she hears from a singer who has been targeted by extremists, meets one of the Taliban’s senior figures to explore the reasons behind the cultural conflict, and follows the votes as the TV audience chooses between the two young finalists.

Afghan Star is much like any other TV talent show – except that its context is a war zone. The studios are guarded by bomb-proof gates and snipers, and the participants arrive by armoured vehicle. It is watched by millions throughout the country – and has led the way in a resurgence of music in Afghanistan despite constant threats. Afghan Star also sees its role as promoting the country’s own traditional music, as a symbol of Afghan cultural identity. With current peace talks that could result in the Taliban again taking control, Afghan Star is at the forefront of the continuing struggle in Afghanistan.

The TV talent show at the forefront of the continuing struggle in Afghanistan

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

02Afghan Star: Music, tradition and the Taliban20190828

The TV talent show Afghan Star has been running for 14 years, and has never been won by a woman singer. This year one of the two finalists is an 18-year-old girl – if she wins, it will be a historic breakthrough for the country. In the second of two features, Sahar Zand meets finalist Zahra Elham, who has received death threats for singing on the show, and Afghanistan's most famous woman pop star Aryana Sayeed, a judge in the competition, who is constantly accompanied by an armed guard. She also visits the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, which is defying tradition as well as the Taliban in teaching musical instruments to young women.

Afghan Star is much like any other TV talent show – except that its context is a war zone. The studios are guarded by bomb-proof gates and snipers, and the participants arrive by armoured vehicle. It is watched by millions throughout the country – and has led the way in a resurgence of music in Afghanistan despite constant threats. Afghan Star also sees its role as promoting the country’s own traditional music, as a symbol of Afghan cultural identity. With current peace talks that could result in the Taliban again taking control, Afghan Star is at the forefront of the continuing struggle in Afghanistan.

(Photo: Aryana Sayeed, Afghanistan's most famous woman pop star. Credit: Sahar Zand)

Sahar Zand meets talent show finalist Zahra Elham and musicians defying the Taliban

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

02Afghan Star: Music, tradition and the Taliban2019082820190829 (WS)

The TV talent show Afghan Star has been running for 14 years, and has never been won by a woman singer. This year one of the two finalists is an 18-year-old girl – if she wins, it will be a historic breakthrough for the country. In the second of two features, Sahar Zand meets finalist Zahra Elham, who has received death threats for singing on the show, and Afghanistan's most famous woman pop star Aryana Sayeed, a judge in the competition, who is constantly accompanied by an armed guard. She also visits the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, which is defying tradition as well as the Taliban in teaching musical instruments to young women.

Afghan Star is much like any other TV talent show – except that its context is a war zone. The studios are guarded by bomb-proof gates and snipers, and the participants arrive by armoured vehicle. It is watched by millions throughout the country – and has led the way in a resurgence of music in Afghanistan despite constant threats. Afghan Star also sees its role as promoting the country’s own traditional music, as a symbol of Afghan cultural identity. With current peace talks that could result in the Taliban again taking control, Afghan Star is at the forefront of the continuing struggle in Afghanistan.

(Photo: Aryana Sayeed, Afghanistan's most famous woman pop star. Credit: Sahar Zand)

Sahar Zand meets talent show finalist Zahra Elham and musicians defying the Taliban

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

02Afghan Star: Music, Tradition And The Taliban2019082820190829 (WS)

The TV talent show Afghan Star has been running for 14 years, and has never been won by a woman singer. This year one of the two finalists is an 18-year-old girl – if she wins, it will be a historic breakthrough for the country. In the second of two features, Sahar Zand meets finalist Zahra Elham, who has received death threats for singing on the show, and Afghanistan's most famous woman pop star Aryana Sayeed, a judge in the competition, who is constantly accompanied by an armed guard. She also visits the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, which is defying tradition as well as the Taliban in teaching musical instruments to young women.

Afghan Star is much like any other TV talent show – except that its context is a war zone. The studios are guarded by bomb-proof gates and snipers, and the participants arrive by armoured vehicle. It is watched by millions throughout the country – and has led the way in a resurgence of music in Afghanistan despite constant threats. Afghan Star also sees its role as promoting the country’s own traditional music, as a symbol of Afghan cultural identity. With current peace talks that could result in the Taliban again taking control, Afghan Star is at the forefront of the continuing struggle in Afghanistan.

(Photo: Aryana Sayeed, Afghanistan's most famous woman pop star. Credit: Sahar Zand)

Sahar Zand meets talent show finalist Zahra Elham and musicians defying the Taliban

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.