Kabul's New Sensation

It's midnight, long past bedtime for most children. But in a poor, war-ravaged neighborhood of Kabul, more than 300 men are gathered at a wedding party to listen to the singing of Mirwais Najrabi, a pale, chestnut-haired 13-year-old. He performs in an open courtyard, under the night sky, to an audience that has endured so much suffering and grief over years of oppression, war and mayhem. Yet for this brief, transcendent moment, their burden is lifted by the exquisite purity of the boy's voice.

With his jaunty, Bollywood-style haircut and white embroidered tunic, Mirwais looks as though he...

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