Afghanistan's first and only all-female orchestra is in Australia to play at the Sydney Opera House and the Robert Blackwood Hall at Monash University in Melbourne, to commemorate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and Afghanistan.
Parwiz Shamal, reporting for TOLOnews, said that 1500 tickets were issued for Saturday’s concert in Melbourne, which was sold out.
“The presence of Zohra girls in Australia is a great honor for women and demonstrates the ability of girls,” said Maram, the pianist of the orchestra.
The Zohra Orchestra was invited by the Afghan Embassy in Canberra in cooperation with the government of New South Wales and other cultural institutions to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Afghanistan and Australia.
Wahidullah Waissi, Afghan ambassador to Australia, said that the presence of the Zohra Orchestra in Australia changes the way people look at Afghanistan.
“When whispers began about Zohra Orchestra’s presence in Australia, it actually brought a positive change in Australian public opinion,” said Waissi.
The Zohra Orchestra is scheduled to perform on Monday at 6:30 pm, at the Sydney Opera House.
Zohra Orchestra was created in 2015 by Ahmad Naser Sarmast as part of the Afghan National Institute of Music.
“The program is set up to not only be a concert program, but also to showcase the variety of music that exists in Afghanistan. So, we want to represent the beauty of Afghanistan and share it with the people of the world," said Sarmast, who has accompanied the group to Australia.
In the Zohra Orchestra, there are about twenty girls in age from fourteen to twenty. They have performed in several countries and have been warmly welcomed everywhere.