Each year, the Council invites members to bring their guests of high school-age and older to a special “Daughters and Sons” meeting. This year, in cooperation with HBO, the Council will screen the HBO documentary Afghan Star. Since 2005, millions of Afghans have followed the reality television program Afghan Star, whose contestants – irrespective of ethnicity, age, or gender – compete for a cash prize and a record deal. For many viewers, who vote for contestants via cell phone, it is their first experience with the democratic process in a country where television, music, and dancing were once forbidden under Taliban rule.
Following the screening, a panel of experts will provide perspective on the broader cultural realities of Afghanistan and their implications for U.S. policy toward the country, where well over half the population is below the age of twenty-five.