Tom Morello Seeks Help Getting Young Female Musicians Out of Afghanistan
The situation in Afghanistan remains dire following the complete American withdrawal, no more so than for those associated in any way with Western culture deemed inappropriate by the Taliban. Doubly so for women and girls, who have been subject to notoriously oppressive treatment by the Taliban in the past.
Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello is doing his best to help a group that falls into both categories: a collective of Afghan musicians known as Girl With a Guitar.
Since the Tabliban takeover, the school has been destroyed and the girls are in hiding, petrified for their lives. So Morello has written an open letter asking the music industry for help.
Morello’s friend, Lanny Cordola launched The Miraculous Love Kids organization in 2010 to teach guitar to children in war-torn areas, and in 2015 he began Girl With a Guitar in Kabul, working with over 200 students to date. The students have recorded remotely with Brian Wilson, Sammy Hagar, Nick Cave and Blake Shelton, among others.
Morello’s statement reads:
“I’m writing on behalf of some very special girls in Afghanistan who are in grave danger. [Girl With a Guitar] takes in street orphans and other girls that have endured significant trauma and uses music as a rehabilitation tool and means of working through their problems, their histories, and their hopes. I’ve had the honor of collaborating with these wonderful kids. Since the Taliban takeover their school has been destroyed and the girls are in hiding. They are at extreme risk because they are widely known to have performed Western music and have been educated by a male American teacher. Anything you could do to help save their lives would be much appreciated.”
Cordola is currently in Pakistan attempting to get 12 girls out of Afghanistan (Billboard reports that he was already in Islamabad attempting to renew his visa when the Afghan government was toppled). “We’re trying to investigate if getting them to the Pakistan border is a possibility,” he says. “We’ve been talking to a lot of different people, rescue organizations. We need to get them out of Afghanistan to start a new life somewhere.”
Watch the girls’ collaboration with Tom Morello, a cover of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams,” below.