Tom Morello asks for help evacuating female guitarists from Afghanistan

Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine
(Image credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Audible)

Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello has requested help evacuating young female guitar students from Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban's takeover of the country.

Morello penned an open letter over the weekend, sent to Billboard by his friend and guitar teacher Lanny Cordola, which calls on the music industry for assistance in protecting young musicians enrolled in the Girl With A Guitar program, who Morello describes as being at "extreme risk". 

Cordola runs a music school for girls in Afghanistan through his non-profit organisation Miraculous Love Kids, and launched a program in 2015 called Girl With a Guitar, which has taught close to 200 students. The musicians have recorded remotely with the likes of Brian Wilson, Sammy Hagar, Nick Cave and Blake Shelton.

"I’m writing on behalf of some very special girls in Afghanistan who are in grave danger," Morello wrote.

"[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. 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.”

In conversation with Billboard, Cordola confirmed he is currently in Pakistan working to get 12 girls, their families and their driver out of Afghanistan, “because their lives are in peril.” 

He explains: "We’re trying to investigate if getting them to the Pakistan border is a possibility. We’ve been talking to a lot of different people, rescue organizations. We need to get them out of Afghanistan to start a new life somewhere."

To help support the young girls, find more information over on the Miraculous Love Kids website.

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.