Everything You Need to Know About Afghanistan's First All-Female Orchestra

"Afghanistan should move on the same path as every other nation goes," 54-year-old Ahmad Naser Sarmast, the founder of Afghanistan's first all-female orchestra, told NPR. "And the girls and the women of Afghanistan should also enjoy the freedom that... other girls and women are enjoying outside of Afghanistan."

The idea to begin the originally 4/5-member, all-female orchestra group stemmed from a few of Sarmast's girl students. Now, with 30 women in the orchestra, "Zohra" (which it came to be known) may one day "become the [first] national orchestra of Afghanistan."

Led by two female conductors, the members of Zohra are anywhere from 14 to 20 years old, some of whom are from Sarmast's Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul and many who are the first person in their families to play an instrument.

Deemed possibly "the unlikeliest symphony orchestra in the world" by the station due to the fact that they are from a society with strict rules on Muslim women, this orchestra has become an outlet for girls to feel safe and inspired.

Watch the group's full performance from the World Economic Forum in the video player below:

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Photo Credit: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

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