Feature

Afghan youths debut at Carnegie Hall, and more

The Afghanistan National Institute of Music’s youth orchestra staged its first tour of the U.S.

Afghan youths debut at Carnegie Hall
Performing in Carnegie Hall is a rare achievement for any musician. But when you come from Afghanistan, where music was banned under the Taliban’s rule, making it to New York City’s esteemed venue is all the more impressive. This week, the Afghanistan National Institute of Music’s youth orchestra staged its first tour of the U.S., where its 48 boys and girls performed Afghan songs and Western pieces in New York and Washington, D.C. The institute, launched in 2010, gives Afghans a forum to learn and play music.

Military dog retires after 12 years
The longest-serving dog in the U.S. military retired last week, after nearly 12 years of helping to protect the country. Tanja, a Belgian Malinois, was deployed five times to war zones around the world, sniffing out explosives and drugs and helping to nab criminals and terrorists. She will now be adopted by Tech. Sgt. Roseann Kelly, her most recent handler. Kelly said Tanja remained vigilant even in the final days of her long military career, recently scaring off an intruder to a military base. “She has served her country,” said Kelly, “and can now look forward to enjoying herself and relaxing.”

Retired teacher creates mobile classroom
A retired teacher from Florida has used her retirement money to turn a bus into a mobile classroom for underprivileged students. Estella Pyfrom, 76, spent around $900,000 decking out a bus with computers and desks, and now drives it through Palm Beach County, Fla., offering local kids a place to do homework and learn about technology. Pyfrom, a daughter of migrant farmworkers who became a licensed teacher with a master’s degree, sees the bus as an opportunity to help others rise up from poverty. “We will make a difference,” she said, “one child at a time.”

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