Tag Archives: Elaha Soroor

Elaha Sahoor: Former “Afghan Star” Singer Finds Freedom In Eclectic Folk

Elaha Soroor Kefaya

In 2010, singer-songwriter Elaha Soroor was in trouble. As a female Hazara singer performing on national TV, on Afghan Star, an Afghanistan equivalent to American Idol, she was basically embroiled in controversy from the start. Soroor’s appearance on the show had defied the conservative society; here was a female singer, often portrayed as amoral, who was also Hazara—an oppressed ethnicity long discriminated against—from a working-class family. Some celebrated this historic first, others scorned it, and still others threatened Soroor. After releasing “Sangsar,” a song which openly criticized the stoning law (a brutal practice still common in many areas of Afghanistan) the death threats became real, and escalated to public physical attacks by strangers. Fearing for herself and her family, Soroor fled home and, soon joined by her sister, went into hiding.

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