Tom Morello Seeks Help Getting Young Female Guitar Group Out of Afghanistan
Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello has asked for the music industry's help retrieving a young group of female guitar students from Afghanistan after American forces withdrew from the country.
The loose collective of Afghan musicians, known as Girl With a Guitar, is part of organizer Lanny Cordola's The Miraculous Love Kids outreach. Morello and fellow American musicians such as Sammy Hagar have previously collaborated on songs with the outfit.
Hear those collabs toward the bottom of this post.
In an open letter on Monday (Aug. 30), obtained by Billboard, the Rage rocker pleaded with those in music to help rescue the group as the Taliban has taken control of Afghanistan.
"I'm writing on behalf of some very special girls in Afghanistan who are in grave danger," Morello says. "[Girl With a Guitar] takes in street orphans and other girls that have endured significant trauma and uses music as a rehabilitation tool and means of working through their problems, their histories and their hopes."
He continues, "I've had the honor of collaborating with these wonderful kids. Since the Taliban takeover their school has been destroyed and the girls are in hiding. They are at extreme risk because they are widely known to have performed Western music and have been educated by a male American teacher. Anything you could do to help save their lives would be much appreciated."
The U.S. military ended its occupation of Afghanistan on Aug. 30, meeting a withdrawal deadline of Aug. 31 set by President Biden and bringing to an end America's longest war — started 20 years ago following the Sept. 11 attacks — as The New York Times reported.
Cordola founded The Miraculous Love Kids and Girl With a Guitar in 2015 after he met a young girl from Afghanistan, Mursal, whose two sisters were killed in a suicide bombing years before, according to Rolling Stone. Inspired to assist in her plight, Cordola began the musical outreach project to provide an artistic outlet for girls and women affected by violence in the region.
As of this spring, Girl With a Guitar's members included Mursal (16 years old), Yasamin (15), Moqadas (11), Tamana (18), Salma (16), Soma (8), Sonam (13), Yasamin (17), Zakia (13), Nahid (16) and Shukriya (10).
Visit their website at miraculouslovekids.org.