ARIANA DELAWARI’s WE CAME HOME
"WE CAME HOME"
PAM NASHEL LETO // Publicist
TAYLOR HAUGHTON // Publicist
We Came Home tells the story of Afghanistan through Afghan American artist, Ariana Delawari. Born into a suburban Los Angeles home, the same year the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Ariana's life unfolds parallel to the ever-changing events of her father’s homeland. Her parents name her after the ancient name of Afghanistan. Her home is filled with refugee relatives, parties with live Afghan music, and her father’s fierce dedication to his homeland.
While her father, Noor, plans anti-Soviet peace protests and lobbies the United States Congress, Ariana and her sisters dance to Madonna and play with their cousins. The Delawari household is a place of both celebration and activism, with Noor’s family attempting to recreate the Kabul they knew and left behind, before the tanks and the land mines.
As Ariana watches her father’s efforts, she is painfully aware that nobody seems to care, and she begins to question her father’s commitment to a land most people cannot find on a map. She watches her father shout about the Soviets, the rise of the Taliban and warnings of Osama Bin Laden. All before 9/11... and all to deaf ears.
September 11th changes the course of her family’s lives. Her parents sell everything and move to Kabul to help reconstruct the country. Ariana finally sees Afghanistan for herself.
Ariana spends the next ten years traveling between Los Angeles and Kabul, documenting the land of her ancestry through photographs, film and music. She believes she is witnessing the moment Afghanistan will finally be free. Her father thrives as he helps reconstruct Afghanistan’s banking system.
With the Taliban resurgence, Ariana realizes that her currency is art, and that the opportunity to bridge the two halves of her existence may soon be gone forever. She rounds up her Los Angeles bandmates and sets out to record an album in Kabul with three Afghan Ustads, or master musicians. The recording is a glimpse into the challenges of building anything in Afghanistan after thirty years of war, but nothing can touch the universal language of music that unfolds between these LA hipsters and elder maestros. These young American artists learn firsthand what it means to risk everything for art.
Ariana names her album “Lion of Panjshir” and filmmaker David Lynch releases the album. Though Ariana receives international acclaim, she’s heartbroken, because Afghanistan keeps getting worse.
In 2011, her father is arrested by the very government he has worked so hard to build. Ariana must decide what to do when war and corruption threaten her father’s life. Though terrified that her father could be wrongfully imprisoned, or worse, Ariana finally understands him. She too has a responsibility to the Afghans she has met along her journeys. Even with Noor's life threatened, he cannot abandon his people and Ariana cannot let them be forgotten. Again.