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Afghan singer fighting against child marriage wins award

Afghan singer fighting against child marriage wins award

Jul 01, 2016 - 14:21

KABUL (Pajhwok): An upcoming Afghan rap singer, waging a war on the curse of child marriage, has won a coveted award, a feminist blog reported on Friday.

Sonita Alizadeh, using her songs to highlight the social issue, was recently shown in a documentary that earned the 2016 World Cinema Documentary Audience Award.

Her documentary was directed by Iranian filmmakerRokhsareh Ghaem Maghami.Sonita’s family shifted to Iran when she was only eight years old. Being undocumented, she was banned from attending school.

According to Feminist Newswire, the 19-year-old found work at a non-profit organisation that assistsunregistered Afghan children. She learntkarate, photography, guitarand a passion for singing and rapping.

Sonitawas married off at the age of 10, but her marriage went on the rocks. At 16, she was told by her mother that they had to return to Afghanistan because there was a man who wanted to marry her.

In return for Sonita’s marriage, her parents asked the suitor for $9,000 to pay the $7,000 for their son’s wedding. The young woman was protested the decision by composing a song titled “Brides for Sale.”

In the video, Sonita is shown wearing wedding dress with a barcode on her forehead,requesting her family not to sell her: “I am seen as sheep grown only to be devoured.”

Her video went viral on the internet and Afghan TV, diverting public attention to her quest for freedom. Months later, Sonita was given a full scholarship to study music through the Amplify Programme at Wasatch Academy in Utah.

In early 2014, she bagged the ‘Best Female’ prize in Argus Productions’ election anthem song contest with a rap encouraging Afghans to vote in elections.

Sonita has penned rap songs about her life as a refugee in Iran, as well as aboutFarkhunda, a woman who was stoned to death in Kabul after being falsely accused of burning a copy of the oly Quran.

PAN Monitor/mud


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