- ‘Gay Jeans’ that fade into rainbow-colored denim created
- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
First female rapper debuts in Afghanistan
With her first rap song, the outspoken 23-year-old singer is making history in her homeland where society frowns on women who take the stage. She is already shunned by some of her relatives.
She sings about repression of women, her hopes for a peaceful Afghanistan and the misery she says she experienced as a small child living in neighboring Iran. Her family fled there during the Afghan civil war of the 1990s and the hardline Taliban regime’s rise to power in 1996. During her five-year stay there, she said the Iranians looked with disdain on Afghan refugees.
“I remember while we were in Iran, we were called `dirty Afghans’ and told to go to the back of the line at the bakery,” Firooz, who also spent time as a refugee in Pakistan and returned to Afghanistan with her family seven years ago, told The Associated Press in an interview.
Her song’s message to Afghans: Stay in your homeland. Those who leave, she sings, will only get jobs washing dishes or working at a car wash. “They will miss their homeland,” she raps in a staccato style, part rap and part hip-hop. “They will want to kiss the dust of their homeland.”
So far, the song, titled “Our Neighbors,” has only been released on YouTube, with a video that shows a series of pictures of Firooz posing in a hip-hop style gear, with jeans, dangling chains and bracelets. In some pictures, she wears a bandana with skulls, but her long hair flows freely, with no headscarf _ a rarity among Afghan women, including the few female singers.
Firooz is also an actress, appearing in secondary roles in a number of local TV soap operas. Earlier this month, she sang at a three-day music festival in Kabul. Because social interaction between men and women are restricted, the musicians played for a female audience the first day and males the last two days.
She is still not yet widely known among Afghans, but she’s breaking traditional rules for women in a very conservative society, where some women don’t go outside without wearing blue burqas that cover them from head to toe. Violence against women is still common in Afghanistan, especially in remote areas. There are reports of women being stoned or executed in public for having affairs with men. Women are arrested and others set themselves on fire to escape domestic violence. Women accused of adultery have been killed or imprisoned.
“We want an end to all cruelty against women and children,” Firooz chants.
Firooz’s uncle has cut off relations with his family because she appears on TV and sings, says her father, Abdul Ghafar Firooz. He says he has quit his job at the government-run electric department to accompany her whenever she leaves the house and protect her as she pursues her acting and musical career.
“I am her secretary, answering her phones. I am her bodyguard, protecting her. When she’s out, I must be with her,” her father said. “Every parent must support their daughters and sons to help them progress,” he said.
Her mother, who does humanitarian work in some conservative, remote areas of southern Afghanistan, says she’s careful not to mention her daughter’s budding career.
“Family support gives me the strength to fight against the problems in our society,” the young singer says.
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
- Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun rights
- Russian bombers buzz U.K. airspace; jets scrambled to chase off 'Bears'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014