Afghan popstar Navid Forogh, will be playing at the Zinda Festival in Bendigo on Saturday.
Originally from Kabul, Afghanistan, Forogh became an overnight success when he won the popular Afghan talent show Afghan Star in 2009.
With his mix of traditional and pop music, he was a greatly loved music idol.
Unfortunately, his success made him a target for the Taliban, and after a series of death threats and a near-death shooting, he fled to Dubai.
From there, he was granted a protection visa by the Australian Government, and moved to Melbourne.
While it was not broadcast internationally, on arrival in Melbourne Navid was already well-known, and his popularity and career have grown ever since, both with the Afghan community and more broadly.
Bendigo is now home to a growing Afghan community, most of whom, like Forogh, have come to Australia as refugees to start new, safer lives.
The Bendigo Afghan community is thrilled to be welcoming him to Bendigo for the first time.
Multicultural services executive officer Kate McInnes said Forogh’s story is similar to that of many people who have come to Australia as refugees.
“He has had to leave his homeland but has made a new life in Australia where he is contributing his talents to our community,” she said.
“Zinda Festival is an opportunity for everyone in Bendigo to enjoy the music, food and culture of our multicultural communities, including the Afghan community.”