Help Afghan Trumpeter Go to College
His primary school was in front of the Afghanistan Ministry of Internal Affairs, a favorite target of the Taliban. He sometimes saw blood and body parts in the streets and inside the school, a sight that is hard for a child to comprehend. Fearing for his safety, his parents asked if he wanted to attend music school. Baset started studying at Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul. At the time, Baset had never seen a trumpet. Yet, by 2013, he was the principal trumpet in the National Orchestra.
Because the Taliban dislikes music, practicing at home, even carrying an instrument case on the street is still very dangerous for musicians. Music, in general, is forbidden by the Taliban in Afghanistan, and some hard-liners think anyone playing an instrument, especially a Western one, should be punished.
Some people he knew advised him to stop playing. However, the school no longer had a trumpet teacher, and with no musical guidance, that is when he found David Bilger, principal trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Bilger began tutoring him through Skype. Fundraisers and a GoFundMe campaign were established, and with the support of many generous people and Baset's hard work, he was able to attend Interlochen Arts Academy. Baset graduated with honors May 27, 2017.
Baset has been accepted by the University of Kansas School of Music. However, before he is able to attend the university, he has to prove to the United States government that he has complete funding in place in order to get his F1 visa. If he can’t show every dollar needed is in place, he will not be issued the visa. And without a visa, he’ll have to return to Afghanistan. And this is why he has turned to this campaign to make his four years at KU possible. He needs to pay for school – about $15,000 for room and board, books, and other living expenses each year. Additional contributions are most welcome for Baset's future studies.
“I want to become the best trumpet player I can and a good person,” says Baset. “My goal is to learn so that I can serve where I can.” Winston Churchill said, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’ Great sacrifices have been made by many for me to follow my dream. Now I will begin to give back.”
We have to stand against these mindsets. I don’t want to see mothers and sisters to face these issues anymore, do you? We have to go forward. If we want to make a change, if we want girls getting education, equality and freedom then we have to work together and right now.
I promised myself that I’ll fight for the rights of children and women because I have seen brave, talented and hard-working girls and women suffering in life. I understand that I am only a young trumpet player, but my parents raised me to care about the things I care and to understand that we can bring them to the world in order to make the world a better place with the power of education. And that power is in music.
I started this campaign to help my family because my mom and sisters are still suffering in Afghanistan, not only they don’t get quality education, equality and freedom, they are also dealing with the war. The hardest part of following my dream to become a musician was leaving my parents and siblings behind, knowing that they might be killed anytime.
You can contribute and help spread the story! If we want a better future, we must start working on it right now.
The hardest part of following my dream to come to the United States was leaving my parents behind, knowing that they might be killed anytime. Many of my friends and donors are concerned about their situation in Afghanistan and they are willing to support my family for a better life.
Through this GoFundMe campaign, you can share your love with my family, because you have changed my life for a better and I am truly grateful forever! Please share the story with anyone caring about this cause: https://www.gofundme.com/help-afghan-trumpeter-to-save-his-family-from-war
At this time of Thanksgiving celebration, my thoughts turn gratefully to you with warm appreciation. Happy Thanksgiving!
“Your story is heartbreaking and inspiring, Baset. I was so moved by your story and your journey, my heart told me Alan would be very pleased for me to give you one of his trumpets. In fact, if he were still here, he would probably do it himself! You have a beautiful sound – very much like Alan’s.” (Ms. Rubin).
The first year of college was a blessing. I did very well in my classes and hopefully improved as a musician and person. However, I still have difficult time thinking about my family. Security in Afghanistan is now a serious challenge. There have been suicide bombings, attacks of civilian and military installations, assassinations, kidnappings, summary killings by the Taliban, Daesh and al- Qaeda terrorists on a daily basis. They have asserted that they plan to continue to increase their presence in Afghanistan.
This situation is difficult both for me and my family. I want to help them to find a safer home, hopefully, move to a safer country. Any help would be very much appreciated, and you can contact me for more detail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I had the privilege of playing at the Kennedy Center with our school Wind Ensemble last month. The most recent interviews were with the BBC World Service and Voice of America. My interview with the VOA was aired on Afghanistan National TV this week.
I have received full scholarships for summer camps. I will attend Chosen Vale in New Hampshire, Rafael Mendez Brass Institute in Denver and Luzerne Music Center in upstate New York.
I must say that today I wouldn’t be here without your generosity. Thank you for all your amazing support for my life journey. God Bless!!
Happy one-year anniversary to GoFundMe Heroes story. GoFundMe truly give me the opportunity to build a lifetime friendship with each of you. Thank you, GoFundMe team.
Now that my financing is in place, I don't have to worry about finding money for college. I can focus on my music studies and academics. I can relax a little and this makes everything easier.
The funds you have donated will go to class fees, room and board, other KU fees, travel during breaks and other expenses needed during my studies. If there is anything left I will put it towards furthering my education and career (perhaps a master’s degree). This has been an amazing year being at Interlochen and in the US, being safe, having lessons with professional musician and the freedom to play anytime, anywhere. Trumpet has been really good in my life as it opened many doors for me. I want to be a solo and orchestra player - and hopefully, the University of Kansas will be the right place to help me reach my goals. I think it will be a great next step.
I attended Bert Truax camp last week in Texas. Next month, I will attend Blast of Brass in Texas and Curtis Summerfest in Philadelphia. Then I will be in Kansas to start a colorful page of my life in the University of Kansas.
I am sure grateful for the financial assistance and excited to be a Jayhawk!
Ahmad “Baset” Azizi
It is surely wonderful to see your financial goal has been reached and such a great feeling seeing so many here are pulling together for you to succeed! Congratulations Baset and have many wonderful years of study of music at KU. Your determination and dream are an inspiration to all of us. We hope to see you perform and play music at the Carnegie Hall in the near future. Good luck in achieving your dream and to a bright future!
Wishing you well this December holiday morning. I hope your family is well and safe, that you, yourself, are happy and full of music. Take good care Baset, I am hoping that you have joy in your life. May the year to come be one where we all are able to rise to the challenges set before us by life on this planet with creativity and generosity of spirit rather than violence and fear. May our troubled world wake refreshed and awash with hope, enthusiasm and the will to make it so.
From one musician to another Baset. I know that your studies will fill your heart with joy. Happy birthday to you next week. Hopefully I'll hear you play some day. Until then....know that we are all lifting you up on our shoulders and wishing you the very best each day.
Great news Baset. Really looking forward to having you in Lawrence. You will be in good hands with the Steve and Paulina. Will see you again soon. Maybe we will have a chance to take you on some trips around the country, although you are already quite the traveler!
Yay!!! Your goal has been reached. Your story has touched my heart, and I wish you all the best in your dreams and goals. I hope one day to get to hear you play and hear your music! Congratulations Baset. May all your dreams and wishes come true. I hope you get to see your family soon too. That must be very hard but keep your head up and focus on your success! God bless! ❣️ ✌️⭐️✝