Tom Morello calls for evacuation of young female Afghan guitarists: “They are in grave danger”

Tom Morello / Girl with a Guitar
(Image credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Audible / Lanny Cordola/YouTube)

Tom Morello has issued an open letter asking for help in evacuating 12 young female guitarists from Taliban-occupied Afghanistan.

The young musicians are all members of the Girl with a Guitar program – which aims to teach guitar to girls in war-torn countries – and are said by Morello to be in “grave danger” as a result of the takeover.

“[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,” the Rage Against the Machine man writes.

“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 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.”

As reported by Billboard (opens in new tab), Lanny Cordola – the guitarist who runs the Girl with a Guitar program and its parent organization, Miraculous Love Kids – is currently in Islamabad, Pakistan working to evacuate the 12 girls and their families from Afghanistan.

“We're trying to investigate if getting them to the Pakistan border is a possibility,” Cordola says. “We've been talking to a lot of different people [and] rescue organizations. We need to get them out of Afghanistan to start a new life somewhere.”

When questioned by Billboard regarding what happens if the girls can't be evacuated, Cordola replies: “That's not an option. I'm not thinking that way yet.”

The girls were reportedly asked by Cordola to destroy their guitars, however the Girl with a Guitar coordinator instead opted to store them in a now-shuttered school away from the girls' homes, so as not to arouse Taliban suspicion with broken guitar pieces.

Last year, Tom Morello teamed up with Miraculous Love Kids/Girl with a Guitar, as well as Foo Fighters' Rami Jaffee and the Go-Go's Kathy Valentine for a cover of Eurythmics' 1983 smash hit, Sweet Dreams.

For more information and to make a donation to the cause, head to Miraculous Love Kids (opens in new tab).

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).