Tag » Afghanistan
Sonita Alizadeh was just fifteen when her parents told her she going to be sold into an arranged marriage. It’s a sickening reality many young girls face in developing countries, where one in three will marry before age eighteen. Terrified of becoming a part of that statistic, Sonita resisted – by rapping. In a recent interview with PRI, she told her story. She grew up in Tehran, where a non-profit organization taught children things like photography and music. It was here that her passion for rapping would begin: “Rap music let’s you tell your story to other people. Read More
In Afghanistan, where having a son is vital for any respectable family, little girls are sometimes disguised and raised as boys.  Here, journalist Jenny Nordberg investigates this complicated cultural game of hidden identity. One of the eager-looking twins nods to reaffirm her words. Then she turns to her sister. She agrees. Yes, it is true. She can confirm it.fgha They are two 10-year-old identical girls, each with black hair, squirrel eyes, and a few small freckles. We are sitting on a gold-embroidered sofa in their home in Kabul, Afghanistan. Read More
In Afghanistan, where having a son is vital for any respectable family, little girls are sometimes disguised and raised as boys. Here, journalist Jenny Nordberg investigates this complicated cultural game of hidden identity   “Our brother is really a girl.” One of the eager-looking twins nods to reaffirm her words. Then she turns to her sister. She agrees. Yes, it is true. She can confirm it. They are two 10-year-old identical girls, each with black hair, squirrel eyes, and a few small freckles. We are sitting on a gold-embroidered sofa in their home in Kabul, Afghanistan. Read More
  Jenny Nordberg, who wrote “Undercover Sister” for our Oct/Nov issue this year, was interviewed last Monday on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In the interview she discussed a practice in Afghanistan, where some families disguise a daughter as a son and raise her as a boy until she hits puberty. The interview goes into the reasoning behind the practice, and its long-term effect psychologically on the girls who experience such shifts.  Afghanistan being a deeply patriarchal society, the birth of a girl is often far from a joyous event. Read More
  Elections for the European Union will be held this Sunday, May 25th, and polls are predicting that Soraya Post will become the first candidate from the Swedish “Feminist Initiative” party (Fi) to take a seat in the EU parliament.   Soraya Post of the Swedish Feminist Initiative, Image Courtesy of  The Guardian  Fi’s feisty slogan, "Out with the racists, in with the feminists," makes the important point that feminism can be used as a platform for change in all forms of discrimination. Read More
“All female artists who work in Afghanistan today are risking their lives so that they can pave the way for other women.” These are the words of 24 year old Paradise Sorouri, Afghan’s first female rap singer. Born in Iran, Paradise makes up one half of the rap duo, 143—the other half being her fiancé, Diverse. Though the two started out singing about love and other familiar, tamer topics, their 2010 move from Herat, Afghanistan to Tajikistan inspired them to start writing songs about violence against women. Read More
On Thursday morning, about 74 girls attending Bibi Hawa Girls High School became ill after ingesting a poisonous gas. Police and school representatives transported the girls to the hospital after they fell unconscious and other classmates looked on and cried. The 8th, 10th, and 11th grade students were treated by Dr. Jamil Frotan, who stated, "We have already sent samples of their blood to the Ministry of Public Health and it will soon become clear what the reason for their illness was. Read More
25-year-old graffiti artist Shamsia Hassani is one of the handful of Afghan “art activists” who have been taking to the streets of Kabul to paint political pieces around the war-torn city. Her motivation is to bring art to Afghanistan and get people thinking. Before graffiti, the self-taught artist served as an associate professor of sculpture at Kabul University. Shamsia has traded traditional art for spray cans and stencils because she has realized that traditional art is a luxury that cuts out all but the educated. Read More
A woman on a bike is no big deal, right? The average female cyclist doesn't raise many hairs these days, but as we pointed out in last fall's Oct/Nov story "Riding High," this hasn't always been the case. In Victorian America, it was actually pretty taboo for women to ride, and the ensuing restrictions helped to spark the activism of the twentieth century women's rights movement. Over a century later, history is repeating itself in Afghanistan, where women are more frequently on the back of a man's bike than behind the wheel. Read More
  Sosan Firooz, the first Afghani female rapper, has recently been hit with a spate of menacing text messages and phone calls demanding that she stop performing.  “If your daughter appears on TV again,” one caller said to her mother, “we will cut off your head.” This seems nuts—but considering recent news from her home country, it doesn’t seem impossible. Sosan, 23, performs with her hair uncovered in front of both male and female audiences, and she openly criticizes the Taliban in her songs. Read More