Allow Mursal, 13 year old Afghan girl, into the US to meet Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys
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Mursal, a 13 year old Afghan girl invited to meet Brian Wilson, the leader of the Beach Boys, has been denied a visitor’s visa to the US. Twice.
Lanny Cordola is an American guitarist, songwriter and producer. He travelled to Afghanistan in 2014 and moved there in 2016.
Cordola met Mursal and her family after a suicide bomber took the lives of several people including her sisters.
Mursal was Lanny Cordola’s first student and inspiration behind his after-school rock music program Lanny Cordola and The Miraculous Love Kids in Afghanistan. Cordola taught his students “Love and Mercy” so they could sing it at the site of a terror attack in Kabul earlier this year.
Gary Griffin, keyboardist for Wilson’s band, had heard the kids sing and at Griffin’s request, Wilson agreed to sing a version of “Love and Mercy” with the kids. After recording Wilson in Los Angeles, Cordola brought the audio files of Wilson’s vocals to Kabul, took the girls to a recording studio and added their voices and guitars to Wilson’s track.
“Brian seemed genuinely happy to help with this project and was truly moved that his music has touched them,” Griffin said in an email.
Last month, Brian Wilson and his wife, Melinda, invited Mursal to visit them Oct. 14 at the final concert of the singer’s current world tour, at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa. This was a unique and life changing opportunity for Mursal however she cannot take it as she has had her U.S. visa denied twice.
Mursal’s case is similar to that of a group of Afghan teenage girls in July who were not allowed to travel to the U.S. to participate in an international robotics competition. Those girls, ages 14 to 16, were also denied visas twice. They eventually were granted a “parole,” a one-time temporary entry for humanitarian reasons.
Mursal has lost seven members of her family including several to violence and two brothers to malnutrition. Cordola has said: "It would be part of a healing process for Mursal. Mursal helps other girls on the street who are going through what she did." She is learning English, more songs, about the subtleties of rhythm and pitch. And she’s getting better at playing the guitar.
This petition calls on the US State Department to review Mursal’s unique case and expedite the review and granting of a visa for her so she can have this once in a life time experience. It is not every day a legendary greatest musician invites you to perform and it is unfortunate that such a talented young girl be denied this opportunity.
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