Arts, Culture & Media

Former Afghan refugee Soosan Firooz becomes rapper


Soosan Firooz is an Afghan rapper. (Photo courtesy of Soosan Firooz.)

Afghan women are making strides in a cultural arena usually dominated by men: music.

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Take Soosan Firooz. She’s a 23-year-old actress who’s recently become Afghanistan’s first female rapper.

This song is called “Our Neighbors”.

And it’s striking a chord with people who — like her — grew up as refugees during the Afghan civil war of the 1990s.

Firooz spent her childhood in Iran and Pakistan. She and her family went back to Afghanistan seven years ago.

And now she’s found a way to share her experience living in exile with others.

“Listen to my story,” she raps. “War started and pushed us out and that’s when our misery and homelessness started.”

Firooz lives in Kabul, where she supports her family with the money she makes as an actress.

That profession, for the most part, seems safe.

But her decision to start singing has rattled extremists.

“My family supports me and they’re proud of me,” Firooz said. “But there are some people who call me on the phone to threaten me. They tell me that if I continue singing, they’ll spray acid in my face. But I’m not afraid. I’ll keep singing.”