Ahmad Zahir / June 14, 1946 - June 14, 1979

The west is just recently starting to hear the popular Afghan singer Ahmad Zahir, bringing rock influence to Afghanistan. Born in Kabul on Jauza 24, 1325 (according to Jalili calendar) to a Pashtun family, he came from an educated lot and was training to be a teacher before taking the road to music. He recorded Persian poems, set to folk-pop music with heavy reverb and wah-wah guitar (some of which current reviewers are calling "psychedelic"), as well as songs deeply critical of the Marxist government in the '70s.

Despite his popularity, many of his recordings were censored or destroyed. His life was taken on his 33rd birthday, officially announced as a car accident but rumors of assassination persist. He remains the country's biggest music icon. The reissues currently available in the West are benefits for women's rights organizations in Afghanistan.

Special thanks to Abed in Germany for the video recommendations.

Tagged: Ahmad Zahir, Celebrate Icons, psych

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