All-female Afghan orchestra members go missing

Updated July 19, 2019

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Trencin (Slovakia): Members of Afghanistan’s first all-female orchestra in action. — AFP
Trencin (Slovakia): Members of Afghanistan’s first all-female orchestra in action. — AFP

BRATISLAVA: Police in Slovakia said on Thursday they were searching for four members of Afghanistan’s first all-female orchestra who went missing from their hotel after performing at a local festival.

Zohra, an ensemble of 35 teenagers and young women musicians played a concert on Saturday at a festival in the western town of Trencin, some 130 kilometres north of Bratislava, near the Czech border.

Four members went missing from their hotel on Sunday, Slovak police said. “I can confirm that the search for two female teenagers and two female adults from Afghanistan is ongoing,” Pavol Kudlicka, a spokesperson for the Trencin regional police, said on Thursday.

He added that the musicians returned to their hotel after the concert but went missing the next morning. “Due to legal reasons and the ongoing investigation no names can be disclosed for now,” Kudlicka added.

Despite the disappearance, the Zohra orchestra played several concerts in western Slovakia this week. They have performed at home and abroad, notably at the closing the World Economic Forum in Davos two years ago.

Published in Dawn, July 19th, 2019