Facing Death Threats, Afghanistan’s First Female Conductor Plays On

At 12 years old, Negin Khpalwak decided she wanted to study music. Then, her uncles threatened to kill her.

Khpalwak, now 20, is from the restive Kunar province in Eastern Afghanistan. I meet her in a classroom in Kabul, where she sits behind a grand piano surrounded by young women and girls clutching violins, clarinets, and cellos. Khpalwak listens to Lauren Braithwaite, a woodwind teacher originally from the UK, as she leads a rehearsal session of Zohra, Afghanistan’s first women’s orchestra, which is a project of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, or ANIM.

Read the entire story here.

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