Kabul Dreams

Afghanistan's First Rock Band Seeks to Bridge Cultures

Life for Sulyman Qardash, the lead singer of Kabul Dreams, has not been easy. Although born in Afghanistan, Qardash fled to Uzbekistan as a refugee and grew up there. Upon his return to Afghanistan in 2008, he and two fellow band members created the rock band Kabul Dreams. However, all three had to leave the country permanently in 2014 after receiving death threats. Known as Afghanistan's first rock band, Kabul Dreams has toured throughout the U.S., and its members currently reside in Oakland, California.

Sulyman Qardash hopes that his music can build a cultural bridge between Afghanistan and the United States, as well as help quell some of the Islamophobia he has witnessed while living here. In his words, “If a kid in California finds out about Kabul Dreams being from Afghanistan, and being an Oakland-based band, if they listen to our music and they say, ‘Oh wow, I like their music,' I’m pretty sure they would change their perspective of where we are coming from...change his mind about the immigrants and people from different backgrounds." 

The podcast was produced by Public Radio International (PRI) and is available here.

Photo by Alykhankaba | CC BY-SA 4.0

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