The 15th season of Afghan Star—known as Afghanistan’s version of American Idol—began auditions on Tuesday, despite the doubts of some participants who thought it would not happen due to ongoing security problems.
Over 1,900 people from provinces across the country have registered to audition in Afghanistan’s largest reality show, which is based in Kabul.
Last year an Afghan girl, Zahra Elham, won the Afghan Star title for the first time in the show’s history. This encouraged more girls to try out for this season’s show.
I have fully prepared to perform in this show and I am here to win the title. I hope that I have people’s support,” said Karishma Ashna, a female participant who shared the stage with her mother.
“I liked Karishma’s talent and when I heard her voice I told her that she should become a singer—I encouraged her a lot,” said Parasto Ashna, another female performer.
“I am fully prepared. I wish there was peace in the country so that people would gather. The Afghan Star is always there,” said Abdul Qadir, a participant of the program from Badakhshan.
“Considering the current situation, we did not expect Afghan Star to be held this year and we are excited about it,” said Mohammad Hijran, a participant of the show.
Afghan Star organizers said women have a considerable presence this year.
“We did not have enough participants from some provinces in previous years, but fortunately this year we have participants from Paktika, Paktia, Khost, Kandahar and Nangarhar provinces and we hope they will perform well,” Afghan Star host Mustafa Azizyar said.
This year’s judges are Ghazal Sadat, a well-known female singer, Mir Maftoon, a folklore singer, Saidagul Maina, also a folklore singer, and pop singer Shakib Musaddiq.