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Afghanistan’s First Female Rapper

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Download Soosan Firooz is making history with her rap songs.

She’s the first female rapper from Afghanistan, rapping about the repression of women and her hopes for a peaceful future.

Ghayor Waziri has her story


23-year-old Soosan Firooz is rapping ‘Listen to my story! Listen to my pain and suffering!”

It’s her first single, entitled ‘Our Neighbours’ and is all about the civil war in Afghanistan.

Her family fled to Iran in the 1990s to escape the war.

For the next seven years, she was rarely allowed to go to school or leave the house, not even to go to the bakery.

"Iranian people often used bad language against Afghans. One day I saw an Iranian man hit an Afghan man just because he was from Afghanistan. I was so upset about it."

She watched TV at her neighbour’s house and fell in love with rap music.

“At first I thought rap singers were crazy! They were rapping and jumping up and down. But later on I learned that Afro-Americans were able to find their independence and express their problems through rap songs. They were using chains on their hands, legs and necks – it was so overwhelming! I felt inspired and I decided to talk about the problems facing many Afghans during the emigration period, especially Afghan women, using rap songs.”

They returned to Afghanistan 8 years ago after the fall of the Taliban.

And she started her career in local TV soap operas.

“I’ve wanted to be an actress and a singer since I was a child. When I was little  I used to practise acting while I was doing the housework. My mother would get upset and say to me, “Hey film star! ... hurry up and do your chores!” One day one of my friends came to our house and told my mother that, because of my talent, she should let me become an actress.”

It’s not easy for Sosan being a rapper in Afghanistan’s conservative society.

After releasing her first song on the internet, Soosan’s uncles and their families shunned her, accusing her of bringing shame on them.

Soosan and her mother have received dozens of anonymous calls threatening to kill her or throw acid in her face.

Her father had to quit his job in a government office to act as her bodyguard-cum-manager.

“There are people in our society who encourage me, but also many who harass me on the streets and everywhere I go. Yes I was threatened because I’m a rapper but I will continue my work and we should never be frightened because of what we do. I rap about violence against Afghan women which has been going on for many years.”

Last year Sosan sang at a popular music festival in Kabul.

And since then her video clip has been broadcast regularly on national TV.

22-year-old shop keeper Muhammad Ramin likes the song a lot.

“Sosan Firooz is the first female rapper in our country. I like her. I want people to encourage her. Our country has been at war for 30 years and now we have to work hard to rebuild it. The country needs different actors with different professions. She can express our problems through her rap songs. Other female singers don’t rap so we should support her.”

Her first hit “Our Neighbors” was released on YouTube 8 months ago.

The video shows a series of pictures of her posing in hip-hop style gear... jeans, chains and bracelets.

She wears a bandana but no headscarf.

24-year-old university student Ahmad Bashir supports her rapping, but has some reservations.

“Our society is an Islamic society. She wears hats, trousers... That’s not part of our culture and tradition. She should wear a Hijab or other types of Afghan clothing. I think she’d be fine. It’s OK for foreign rappers to wear what they want because their traditions and cultures are different from ours.”


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 February 2013 15:01 )  

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