Paradise Sorouri: A Voice for Afghanistan
“All female artists who work in Afghanistan today are risking their lives so that they can pave the way for other women.” These are the words of 27 year-old Paradise Sorouri, Afghanistan’s first female rapper.
Paradise makes up one half of rap duo 143—the other half being her fiancé, Diverse. Though the two started out singing about love and other conventional topics, the constant death threats, intimidation, and even outright violence against Paradise forced the couple to flee to Tajikistan in 2010, where they began writing songs about gender inequality. The impact has been substantial, not only in drawing international attention but in inspiring others back home, and Paradise says she feels “proud and honored” to have ushered in a generation of Afghani female rappers.
Having won Afghanistan’s ATN award for best rap act in 2015, headlined at the international FeminEast festival in Stockholm in 2016, gained recognition by the UN as promoting human rights, and most recently, having been the subject of the documentary Rebel Beats, Paradise and 143 continue to use music to speak out against misogyny and violence against women.
“The people of Afghanistan still need our voice,” she says.
The music video for Faryade Zan, or Cry of the Woman, is below.