1st Female Afghan Rapper Not Deterred By Threats [W/VIDEO]
Afghanistan’s first female rapper says threats won’t stop her from making her voice heard.
“How long should we keep this silence?” Sosan Firooz said in an interview with CBS. “There’s a need for people to rise up. And others should follow.”
Firooz and her family have begun to receive death threats since the 23-year-old released her first single, “Our Neighbors,” on YouTube earlier this fall.
“Listen to my story! Listen to my pain and suffering!” Firooz says in the song, which boasts over 75,000 hits on the website.
The young woman has been hit with a series of menacing text messages demanding that she stop performing. Her mother recently received an anonymous phone call with a similar message.
Sosan Firooz raps about the repression of women in her native country and her desire for a peaceful Afghanistan.
“They told her ‘If your daughter appears on TV again, we will cut off your head,’” Firooz explained.
But none of the risks have deterred Firooz, who makes history performing in front of men, clad in western clothes, in a country where social norms keep women out of the spotlight.
“Everyone wants to be unique, to do something no one else has done before,” said Firooz, who hails from an impoverished neighborhood in north Kabul.
Firooz’s music hits on a variety of different topics, including the repression of women and her desire for a peaceful Afghanistan.
She also raps about the difficulties of growing up as a child in neighboring Iran. She and her family fled there during the Afghan civil war of the 1990s.
“When war started in our country, there were bullets, artillery, rockets. All our trees were burned down. The war forced us to leave our country,” she raps in Dari, one of country’s two main languages.
Sosan Firooz, clad in western clothes, regularly performs in front of men in Afghanistan.
“We are hopeful for the future in our country. And we request that our neighboring countries leave us alone.”
Afghan singer and composer Fared Rastagar, who helped Firooz record her first single, said the danger of being a woman on the stage in Afghanistan is real.
“Some female singers have stopped singing because of threats from the Taliban,” Rastagar told CBS. “Some have left the country.”
The producer, however, praised Firooz for continuing to put herself out there despite the risks.
“I admire Sosan for her courage and appreciate the support of her family,” he told the AP when Firooz’s single dropped.
“Rap is needed here. We need to bring changes in all parts of life including music.”