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Ahmad Zahir grew up in Kabul and attended Habibia High school in the early 1960s, he was once known as Bulbul Habibia (Best Voice of Habibia). Later he attended a teacher’s college in Kabul and then went to India to continue his higher education, however, he decided that music was his true calling.

Ahmad Zahir worked with major mentors such as Ismail Azami, Nangialai, and many others including Naynawaz and Taranaz who later composed most of his songs.

He recorded over 22 albums in the 1970s as his songs were noted for their mellifluous tones, poetic style, compelling depth, and passionate emotional evocation.
Ahmad Zahir was professionally on the scene of Afghan Music for only 10 years however he managed to record more than 30 albums a total of 400 songs. All of his albums were successful and vastly accepted by everyone not only in Afghanistan but also in Tajikistan, Iran, Pakistan, and possibly India. He only recorded two video songs in his career.

He was controversially died on June 14, 1979, on his 33rd birthday. There are many speculations about his death as his son Rishad Zahir said that his father was assassinated by a communist commander.

Apparently, Ahmad Zahir was killed in a traffic accident in Salang valley but according to his father, he had bullet wounds on his temple region.

A large crowd of mourners attended Zahir’s funeral in Kabul, clogging the city streets and bringing daily activities to a halt. After his death, Zahir became a national hero and his image was mythologized by the Afghan people. Because of his privileged family background, Zahir helped to establish music as a more respected profession which in turn led to the founding of The Kabul Music School in 1974.

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