The album is a collection of folk songs traditionally performed by Afghan women, drawing on Elaha's own experience of fleeing Afghanistan and the struggle faced by many other female artists. The US and Western-backed regimes that came to dominate Afghanistan in the latter part of the 20th century created a climate of heightened patriarchal oppression and persecution of women.
These songs tell stories of joy, pain and resilience, passed from mother to daughter in times of hardship and oppression, whilst also celebrating femininity, sensuality and the spirit of resistance. As Elaha says, this album is for 'those women around the world whose image has been erased, and whose voice has been forbidden.'
Born in Iran into a family of Afghan-Hazara refugees, Elaha Soroor first rose to fame through the reality TV show Afghan Star. Her rising popularity in a society known for its persecution of female performers combined with her outspoken views on women’s rights led to an environment of serious personal danger and Elaha was eventually forced to flee Afghanistan.
As Elaha says: 'In the eyes of the world, Afghan identity is defined by terrorism, war, the Taliban and uneducated, domesticated women who need help. I have tried to show other associations with Afghanistan such as the beauty of my mother language (Farsi) and the diversity of our music. Although women are currently facing extreme violence in Afghanistan, I see a lot of similar problems encountered in different ways in Western countries and across the world. This is part of a universal struggle.'
STAFF COMMENTSMatt says: So evocative, beguiling and intriging is Soroor's voice is that it had me checking the feasability and safety of flying to Afghanistan! Perfectly matched with a wide variety of instrumentals, this is my surprise hit of the week!
1 Jama Narenji
2 Gole Be Khar
3 Arose Jane Madar
5 Gole Sadbarg
7 Khina Beyarin
8 Do Chasmane (Intro)
9 Do Chasmane Siyah
10 Lalay Lalay