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Fly With Me kite festival puts on a show of solidarity with Afghanistan : NPR


Children fly kites at Parliament Hill viewpoint on Saturday in London to mark one year since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban.

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Children fly kites at Parliament Hill viewpoint on Saturday in London to mark one year since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban.

Hollie Adams/Getty Images

People in more than 30 cities across the U.K., Europe and the U.S. participated in a kite festival to mark one year since Afghanistan fell to the Taliban.

In Afghanistan, kite flying is a recreational activity like it is in other countries, but there’s more to it than letting your kite fly up high on a string. Kite fighting is popular, where multiple fliers using lines coated with extra-sharp material will try to cut each other’s line. Flying kites was banned during the Taliban’s previous time in control of the country.

The festival, called Fly With Me, was created by the Good Chance Theatre, alongside master Afghan kitemaker Sanjar Qiam, The Kite Runner actor Elham Ehsas, and Afghan musician Elaha Soroor, and was meant to celebrate the Afghan tradition and serve as a show of solidarity.

A child flies a kite at Parliament Hill viewpoint on Saturday in London.

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A child flies a kite at Parliament Hill viewpoint on Saturday in London.

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A man prepares his kite for flying at Parliament Hill viewpoint on Saturday.

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A man prepares his kite for flying at Parliament Hill viewpoint on Saturday.

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“Fly With Me is a reminder to the world: Remember Afghanistan,” Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, the co-artistic directors at Good Chance Theatre, said in a statement. “And so, by making and flying kites in the Afghan tradition, led by Afghans who have made new lives in Europe, and open to all, we will be standing in solidarity with Afghans in the latest affront to their freedom and will remind the world of the devastating humanitarian crisis still taking place in Afghanistan today.”

A woman launches a kite at Parliament Hill viewpoint on Saturday.

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A woman launches a kite at Parliament Hill viewpoint on Saturday.

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People fly kites at Parliament Hill on Saturday in London. To mark one year since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, Good Chance Theatre is launching the first edition of Fly With Me, a festival of Afghan kite-flying, storytelling, music, poetry and dance.

Hollie Adams/Getty Images


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Hollie Adams/Getty Images


People fly kites at Parliament Hill on Saturday in London. To mark one year since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, Good Chance Theatre is launching the first edition of Fly With Me, a festival of Afghan kite-flying, storytelling, music, poetry and dance.

Hollie Adams/Getty Images

Afghanistan fell to the Taliban on Aug. 15, 2021. Since then the country has been hit with poverty and a hunger crisis that is affecting nearly 20 million people — or almost half the country — according to a report from the United Nations and other groups.



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