Afghan orchestra finds hope in Portugal as music dies in homeland – Reuters

LISBON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – When the Taliban seized power, Afghan musicians knew their futures were in jeopardy. Conductor Shogufa Safi, 18, escaped. Now in Portugal, her new home, she feels safe but her dream is to return one day and bring music back to her country’s streets.

“I haven’t had peace in my life yet,” an emotional but hopeful Safi said after she landed in Portugal’s capital Lisbon on Monday along with 272 other members of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM), including students, staff and relatives.

“My huge dream is to go back to Afghanistan…It’s a huge dream,” she said. “I believe that I’ll go back…and teach the younger generation.”

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Safi is one of the musicians in Afghanistan’s renowned all-female orchestra Zohra, part of ANIM. They have played at some of the world’s major concert venues, from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Oman’s Royal Opera House. read more

Portugal has granted asylum to all ANIM’s members and their immediate family, making it the largest rescue operation of a self-contained Afghan community since August’s takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, the music institute said.

Under the Taliban’s repressive 1996-2001 regime, music was banned. Although the hardline Islamists have yet to formally reinstate the ban this time around, the Taliban have ordered radio stations to stop playing music in parts of Afghanistan.

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Music Box Cookie Tin is Truly ‘Note-Able’ – Packaging Digest

Isn’t it a wonderful feeling when packaging surprises you in a good way?

My packaging-induced wonder came upon a recent night-time visit to a nearby Aldi’s. As I perused the shelves, there it was: Benton’s “Music Tin with Sugar Cookies”, which captures exactly what it’s about.

It was so unexpected to find such a premium-looking, interactive item at the discount grocer that I was beaming like a kid on Christmas morning. Then I became self-conscious and looked around to see if my fellow shoppers noticed my reaction. If so, they may have thought I’d enjoyed some liquid holiday cheer beforehand.