Monday, November 22, 2010

Concert in a bloody ground!

I normally go to southern Helmand province with US troops to cover the war between Taliban (Allah Soldiers) and US along with International troops who fight against terrorism, But this time Farhad Darya's team asked my fincee to photograph his concert in Helmand and i could go with her too!

Farhad Darya is a famous singer who normally sings in Persian (Dari in Afghanistan) and can not talk Pashto very well. Farhad Darya has been designated as the UNDP (United Nations Development Program) National Goodwill Ambassador for Afghanistan and he has worked a lot for rights and peace.

It was Friday (Nov. 19) that we went to Lashkar Gah stadium which is the central city of Helmand. I was shocked, thousands of men were gathered to watch and enjoy Farhad's concert. Some had arrived from neighboring provinces like Urozgan and Kandahar.

I and my fiancee who were working for Farhad, were scared a bit. every one in Afghanistan heard a lot of scary stories about Helmand. Wild Taliban who behead young Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers and kill people easily, opium smuggler, IEDs which kill a lot of British and US soldiers in a year and many others.

We were respecting some bloody happening during the concert although we knew that people were body checked in three steps but who could control 7 to 8 thousands of people!

It was near Praying time and men start to pray every where. i saw some men exactly like Taliban faces, long beard, black turbans and wild faces. I asked my fiancee to go behind the stage that no one see her for her security. To be honest i scared a lot and my hands were shaken and my heart was shaken hardly.

Farhad came to stage and people start shouting and start pushing each other toward the stage. Some children were under the feet of the crowd but no one hurt seriously. Farhad had to stop for a while and i ran to him and i told him that he has to stop as children are in bad situation.

A man talk in Pashto and used some hard words and then crowd start to sit on the ground and it seemed that every thing is under control.

Farhad start singing and i saw that young men were so happy and most of them danced. Farhad was so excited and i could see it in his face.

A lot of young men gave him flowers, mostly plastic flowers and they were shouting and dancing and laughing. I have never seen this before in a Pashtun and southern province before. I never think that some day i would be witness for an event like this in Helmand!

It was a report in BBC about another operation started few days ago some where in Helmand which was not so far from Lashkar Gah! Sangin in south of this province still experiences a badly and hard fight between US Marrin and Taliban.

Mr. Ahmadi the Helmand governor spokesman denied any operation going on in Helmand but the next day i heard some sound of explosion in Lashkar Gah city when i was in governor guest house.

Helmad Governor Mr. Mangal was so excited after the concert and he came to stage and talked to people and gave a gift to Farhad Darya. People were so happy and i cried a bit when i saw that much happiness.

One of the song that Farhad sings was about rebuilding Afghanistan: "If i made you Hell, I will/can make you Paradise also" which made me cry.

Helmand is still a bloody province with a lot of poppy field and will be a hot ground for a while in Afghanistan war.


  1. it was indeed a great and historical event for a province like Helmand and in a way for the entire country. thanks a lot for sharing a first hand account of this event. in the report by bbc i saw some women sitting in corner too, around 10 or more of them, but seemed like it was before the concert. i wonder if they stayed or were allowed to stay during the concert.

  2. thanks massoud.. for a second I felt like I was there with you. ;)