Zohra Orchestra

Written by: Wajiha Sayar

Meena and Mustafa are going to the castle and when they reach the gate of the castle, they hear the voice of music inside the castle. Meena asks Mustafa about it. Mustafa thinks that it might be some ceremony in the castle. Meanwhile, Lalo Mama arrives and welcomes his guests. Meena asks about the music. Lalo Mama says that the orchestra of the castle is practicing music and a special song. Mustafa asks the reason. Lalo Mama says that some foreigners want to visit the king of the castle.

Lalo Mama takes Meena and Mustafa inside the castle. Meena says that their school song group just has a harmonium, a drum, and a tambour but here in the castle they have many musical instruments. Lalo Mama says that music band and orchestra are different from each other.

Mustafa asks about the differences between them. Lalo asks about it from some youths who have already come to the castle. 

Sharif says: “Music group and orchestra both play music.” Farhad says: “Music group consists of two, three or four musicians but the orchestra has about 20 or 30 musicians.”

Meena says that she heard about the orchestra for the first time and she asks about the activities of the orchestra from Lalo Mama.

Lalo Mama opens them a window.


In the window, the reporter of the castle is talking to Ahmad Nasir Sarmast, the director of Afghanistan National Institute of Music about Zohra Orchestra.

 Sarmast says: “Zuhra orchestra started its activity in 2017 in Kabul city. This orchestra has 30 members and all of them are the girls between 13-18. We have two more orchestras in this institute too: Afghanistan Symphony orchestra and Youths Orchestra. Those who want to learn music, we accept them after passing the exam in youth’s orchestra for primary studying of music and them they study symphony orchestra for two years and after they pass the symphony orchestra, then they could go to Zohra Orchestra.”

 Lalo Mama closes the window. Meena and Mustafa like the information about Zohra Orchestra.

Mustafa wants to eat a chocolate. Meena says that most people eat sweets with tea. Lalo Mama says that he knows about a sweet which common in northern parts Afghanistan and then he opens another window about it.


 In the window, Waheeda is the guest of her friend, Asma. Asma wants to bake Ghilmandi (a special food of Uzbek tribes of Afghanistan). They prepare dough from 3 glasses of flour and let it for half an hour and then they make small balls of them. On the other hand, they put a pot on a stove and add one-liter milk with cardamom and sugar and mix them. They mix four spoonful corn flour in a half glass of water. When the milk boils, they add the mixer to it and then they add some ground pistachio and almonds to it too and then let it the porridge to get ready.
Then they put the dough’s balls on a flat board, prepare bread from them and bake them in a cast-iron cauldron. After baking the bread, they put some porridge on one side of the bread and close it as a Bolani (a special Afghani food) and then put them one upon another and apply some butter on them and put them back together in the cast-iron cauldron and let a little flame burns under it. After a few minutes, the Ghilmandi is ready.

Lalo Mama close this window too. Meena and Mustafa went back home.