Paradise Sorouri, Afghanistan’s first female rapper, is no stranger to controversy. Originally born in Iran, Paradise has attracted death threats as well as brutal physical assaults. As the Guardian reported, Paradise was “forced to flee her country twice, received more death threats than she can count and was brutally beaten by ten men on the street and left to die.”
Paradise is a staunch believer in women’s and children’s rights, as well as spreading love all over the world. She founded her band, 143BandMusic, together with her fiancé Diverse, who was also born in Iran. They have been singing together since 2008. Nevertheless, Paradise her fiancé were forced to leave Iran to Herat, that’s their mother-town in Western Afghanistan.
“There are two different regimes in both countries for sure. In Iran, it’s ruled based on the Government, and for sure freedom of speech and all manner of political activities such as singing, and so many other things are controlled directly by government. However, in Afghanistan, it is almost the same, but there are some tribal and local rules as well. Mullahs have direct control of the district and neighborhoods as well.”
“We also realized that people of Iran, those that they are seeking freedom are mostly in danger of government actions but in Afghanistan, there are also people who will control the situation and govern other people and take matters into their own hands, too.”
Paradise remembers that on one occasion in 2009 in Herat city, Afghanistan, she was surrounded by ten men on motorcycles who started to beat her with wooden rods. Onlookers even urged them to kill her. That’s exactly what she’s referring to when she acknowledges that in Afghanistan, locals often take matters into their hands based on what they believe to be moral and correct behavior.
Paradise has no doubt that it’s her music and lifestyle that has prompted several people in Afghanistan to act so brutally towards her.
For her music is a vital communication tool that helps us reach the hearts and minds of people, no matter their age.
“Hip Hop is the language of the street and people easily understand what the message behind it is. You can choose a topic and talk about it on a beat and people would listen to that to get the message. It’s easier to communicate that way, especially to our own people. There are a lot of problems such as: not being accepted from some parties and people, a lack of security, lack of freedom to make whatever and however music you want, and especially not being supported from the local media in Afghanistan, but however we do believe that music will change the mentality of people and overcome the negative pulses in the society and love will prevail.”
Paradise is personally honored to be the one to take on all these traditional taboos and start an Afghan hip-hop revolution to empower the people.
“It’s not an easy job, especially when you see your only supporter is YouTube and Facebook and even your national TVs are not broadcasting your art. But we never give up and continue and follow our dream. A dream of equal life for everyone, regardless of gender and religion, color or ethnicity; in a peaceful atmosphere.”
“Some families will dress their daughter as a boy so she can get educated but not only for education, we have seen and been taking care of some girls back in Afghanistan who were dressing like a boy and working on streets (selling flowers or cleaning cars) so they wouldn’t be sexually harassed even at the ages of 6 to 10! This is horrifying, but there are a lot of things happening in Afghanistan that people couldn’t even imagine,” Paradise adds.
That’s why she and her fiancé have dedicated some of their songs to females’ rights to education, empowering families and the government to fight for education rights for girls in Afghanistan.
“Our wish is that our readers will pay more attention for the sake of humanity,” Paradise concludes.
Reference: The Mind Unleashed
Source : Via