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Putting a Song Back on Their Lips

Afghan boy with songbookAfghanistan’s present generation will probably never forget what life was under the Taliban. A militia that gained control of this culturally rich country, the Taliban banned virtually every expression of freedom and creativity it could lay its hands on. The result was a country sapped of its soul. People outside Afghanistan have probably heard about incidents like the demolition of ancient Buddhist statues by the Taliban. In reality, however, there was a silent repression of anything imaginative, most notably music. The Taliban were infamous for publicly burning instruments and prosecuting people who engaged in music.

So which one is better—classic country or mainstream country?

It was the children of Afghanistan that suffered the most. They grew up in schools that were artistically dry in a culture stripped of its vitality. Sadly enough, even after Operation Enduring Freedom freed the country from the shackles of the Taliban, very little attention was paid to restoring the country’s great artistic legacy. Therefore, when an inspiring middle-aged woman named Louise Pascale decided to print a book of kid’s music that she had written years ago for Afghani children as a Peace Corps volunteer, she had no way of knowing the impact she would eventually make.

Today, Pascale has distributed 25,000 copies of her music books to Afghani children in remote villages and towns. In some schools, it is the only proper resource book they have. I am touched by Pascale’s example. When helping the less fortunate, we often overlook things like music and art, thinking of only what they need to survive. While it is important to ensure a person’s quality of life, health and safety above all else, making their life more meaningful is equally important. Pascale’s small gesture of reprinting old children’s music books will give a generation of Afghani children a semblance of culture. It is small examples of seemingly insignificant people like Pascale that prove to us that the war in Afghanistan, indeed, has been for the good.

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  • About the Author:
    Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile.

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