Zohra, Afghanistan's first and only women's orchestra has been awarded the Freemuse Award 2017.
They are students at the National Institute of Music (ANIM) and the first women in their families, community and country to learn music in over 30 years.
Afghanistan’s musical scene suffered enormously in the last decades of the 20th century due to war, exile of musicians, and the draconian policies of the Taliban banning music entirely.
However, after the establishment of the new democratic system in 2001, the Afghan music industry was revived.
In 2010, Dr. Ahmad Sarmast, a visionary and the first Afghan to obtain a doctorate in music, initiated a groundbreaking project to revive and promote musical education in Afghanistan that led to ANIM establishment.
Empowering girls through music is one of the ANIM's primary commitments.
Currently, 65 out of 200 students are girls aged between 14 to 20 years that studying at the institute.