by Abdul Haleem, Abdul Latif Azimi
BAMYAN, Afghanistan, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Many people outside Afghanistan may think that the militancy-plagued country is the breeding center of extremism and terrorist groups that export mercenaries to destabilize the globe but reality on the ground is different from whatever portrayed by militant groups.
The insurgency-hit Afghanistan is a peace-loving country and the war-weary Afghans by promoting social activities including music and arranging music festivals want to feature another face of the insurgency-battered land.
To have sigh of relief and say "no" to extremism, terrorism and insurgent groups, the Afghan youth held a grand music party in the central Bamyan province on July 3 where the art fans and singers from across the country attended to show their talents.
Once a cradle of Buddhism, the picturesque Bamyan was the home of two giant Buddhas status until March 2001 when the Taliban fighters dynamited the pair amid national and international community's outrage and criticism.
Afghans have arranged series of music festivals since the collapse of the Taliban reign and dynamiting of giant Buddhas in Bamyan to express support to peace, stability, cultural heritages and human civilizations.
But this time was different as around 15,000 people from all walks of life including countless foreigners attended the five-day gala held close to the destroyed giant Buddhas.
"It was a big event that could bring together thousands of people from across Afghanistan to enjoy the live music and say no to militancy and conflicts," a spectator woman Zahra Hussaini told Xinhua.
Titled "Bamyan Dambora Festival", the aim of the event, according to organizers of the music party, was to keep alive the cultural heritages, support artists and promote tourism industry.
Dambora is a guitar-like music instrument that is poplar and largely used by classic singers and folklore musicians in Afghanistan.
Backed by the Chinese embassy to Afghanistan, UNESCO and the provincial government of Bamyan, the music party "Bamyan Dambora Festival" has been widely welcomed by Afghans, according to Mohammad Ali Shida, one of the organizers of the five-day program.
Availing the opportunities during music festival, the residents of Bamyan province had also held handicrafts fair to develop homemade local products.
Like other industries, Afghans have made tremendous progress in the music sector since the collapse of the Taliban regime in late 2001, said another spectator Abdul Karim.
He whispered with pleasure that the fall of Taliban's six-year rule has paved the way for music talents like Farhad Darya, Ariana Sayed, Mujda Jamalzada and many more Afghan singers to get world fame.
"In fact, we Afghans are peace-loving and holding such a grand music party with the participation of thousands of people is a proof to the fact," said Karim.
Karim also noted that conducting insurgency by Taliban or like-minded groups cannot defame Afghans' face.