01 April 2008

The Blue Burqa Band

This Afghan girl rock group appears as three blue ghosts floating through the streets of Kabul,* singing about how they feel about wearing burqas:

You give me all your love
You give me all your kisses
Then you touch my burqa and don't know 'who is it'?

Just like the 19-year-old Afghan track star and only female on Afghanistan's four-member Olympic team, Ahdyar -- who runs dressed in a headscarf, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt -- the Blue Burqa's are subjected to Taliban-like threats.

The group's songwriter, Nargiz (not her real name), says, "It was a lot of fun, but also very scary. Afghanistan is still a very dangerous place for modern women, and when we shot the video we had to do it very discretely because no one could know that we were playing music. Of course it was a joke to sing in the burqas, but it was also necessary to wear them. If people in Afghanistan knew who the members of the Burqa Band were, we could be attacked or killed because there are still a lot of religious fanatics here."

Still? As many as ever, I'd say.
My mother wears a burqa, I must wear a burqa too.
We all wear a burqa, we don't know who is who.
Blueee, burqa blue.

According to Nargiz, only 10 people in Afghanistan know who are the faces behind the burqas in the band. They have never performed in Afghanistan (the song was a hit in Germany). Today the only place to see the Blue Burqa Band is on video.

Zenobia has had some earlier burqa posts: sadly, R.I.P. Benazir Bhutto , and a more frivolous 'burqa on the cat walk' report in Thirty Centuries of Persian Art.

* Via The F-Word Blog

Think about supporting RAWA, the oldest political/social organization of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy and women's rights in Afghanistan.

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