Thursday, July 21, 2005


As part of the continuing grim "everything's alright" coming from Afghanistan, Kabul hosted its first major international gig since the Taliban was dissipated off to the mountains and across the border yesterday. The gig - by Indian singer Sonu Nigam - proved to be incredibly popular, attracting over 10,000 fans; the police elected to deal with this overcrowding by beating the shit out of anyone trying to get in, if they had tickets or didn't. Then, unfortunately, the stage collapsed and everything was off again. It seems that Afghans have forgotten how to throw a gig:

Some people argued that Afghans "are not yet ready" for such concerts, others were critical of the security forces for failing to maintain order.

"Afghanistan is still far from hosting a great singer like Sonu Nigam", one of the fans, 30-year-old Bashir Ahmad, told the BBC.

"The country and its people have spent many years grappling with war and isolation. It is difficult for them to give a proper welcome to foreign musicians."

To be fair, Sonu didn't seem to be holding any grudges:

"We Indians like Afghans", he said at the beginning of the concert. "It is the news of insecurity in Afghanistan that prevents Indians from visiting. But on my return, I will tell Indians that Afghanistan is secure and we can feel safe amongst Afghans."

... although that was before the stage fell down.