Named after a Persian goddess of music, Zohra, the country’s first all-female orchestra is composed of 30 young women ranging in age from 13 to 20 years. The origins of this unique ensemble can be traced to the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM), created in 2010 under the patronage of the Ministry of Education and the Deputy Ministry for Technical Vocation and Educational Training, as well as donors such as the World Bank and various foreign governments. The school, which offers a full academic curriculum, including both classical Western and traditional Afghan music, is open to people of diverse cultures, ethnicities, and genders, often transforming the lives of disadvantaged children and youth. ANIM’s mission is “to provide a dynamic, challenging, and safe learning environment for all students regardless of their gender, ethnicity, religious sect, or socio-economic circumstances. We focus especially on supporting the most disadvantaged children in Afghanistan – orphans, street-working vendors and girls.” ANIM’s purpose is to (1) assure musical rights; (2) transform lives through music; (3) revive and preserve Afghan music; (4) train future music educators; and (5) lead in cultural diplomacy between Afghanistan and other countries. ANIM’s founder, Dr. Ahmad Naser Sarmast, was the first Afghan ever to earn a PhD in musicology and to receive the UK’s prestigious Royal Philharmonic Award in London on May 14, 2013. In 2011, ANIM began its Afghan Youth Orchestra, made up of both boys and girls, and four years later created Zohra, Afghanistan’s first-ever all-female orchestra. The young women of Zohra were dressed in traditional, colorful embroidered costumes reflecting Afghanistan’s rich ethnic cultures and bringing a message of openness, peace, and hope to the world. Let’s now hear an excerpt from Dr. Sarmast’s inspiring talk and a part of Zohra’s beautiful performance at the close of Davos 2017.