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Talented Musician Meena Karimi: A Voice for Afghanistan’s Youth, Part 2 of 2

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Ms. Karimi began her musical studies at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music and is currently majoring in cello at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, United States of America. She has inspired a global audience through her performances with the Zohra Orchestra, Afghanistan’s first all-female orchestra, serving as a cultural ambassador.

“Dawn” was Meena Karimi’s first composition for the cello and orchestra and was orchestrated by young Afghan composer Arson Fahim. “The story of Afghan girls inspired me to compose ‘Dawn.’ ‘Dawn’ represents the three stages of a girl, a woman's life in Afghanistan. And then the ending, which I have not finished, it represents that this challenge is still going on in Afghanistan, women are still facing a lot of challenges, such as not being able to go to school, such as not being able to even work and be part of the society and community that they have to be.” “I definitely hope I will be able to finish this piece, and I have promised myself that I will finish this piece whenever all women and girls in Afghanistan have achieved their rights.”

“Dawn” premiered with a performance by Afghanistan National Institute of Music’s National Symphony Orchestra in March 2021 in Kabul. The international premiere of “Dawn” was performed by the Chineke! Orchestra at the Southbank Centre in London, UK, in October 2021.

Meena mentions how important it is for young Afghan musicians to spread the message of peace and hope. “Since music is banned, there are not a lot of opportunities for Afghan music to still keep going. But this opportunity gives all the composers the chance to keep the Afghan music going and alive.”

“One of my dreams is that I will be able to, back in Afghanistan, I will be able to have a real music school and be able to represent and introduce music to Afghan kids, since currently, music is not being part of their life.” “My message is that if we stand for each other, if we have each other’s back, we will be stronger. And as humans, if we are seeing inequality in some other places, we need to stand for each other.”
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