Rap for Freedom

The woman’s voice is what I’m calling.
The girl’s voice that is lost in my country.
The voice of those who want to talk, who want to say:
a voice of all women who want a sign.

This is part of a song a rap song done by a woman. Nothing is unusual in it,  just like many other rap songs that are written by women and talk about women’s problems. But there is something very peculiar and interesting about this musician-she is Muslim and she is from Morocco. Her name is Soultana.Image

    Morocco is an Islamic country with a king in charge and not much freedom of speech.

Soultana raps about the challenges facing women in this North African country: illiteracy, poverty, domestic violence, and daily harassment on the street.

 Many other rappers have been put in jail for their open songs and propaganda of freedoms, but Soultana is full of hope; she has said that she loves the King and never sings anything against him. She loves her country, but feels that there needs to be a change for women.

She implores him (the King) to improve life for his people—especially young people like her.

“We need jobs, we need education, we need health, we need a lot of things. We sing that we need change. I want to see all of my brothers and my sisters in Morocco working, having jobs,” she says.

Soultana raises issues of womanhood and the place of women in Islamic society and Morocco in particular. She sings:

“She saw in your face the life she lost.
You looked at her like she was a cheap thing.
She saw in your face what she wanted to be.
You looked at her, a look of humiliation”.

She raises a question of how women feel there, and in a lot of places in the world. Do we feel like we are a “cheap thing” worthless and not important? And why do we feel this way? A lot of cultures and places that have a very strong hierarchy are mostly dominant Patriarchal societies. The role of women can be strongly constricted and there is no opportunity to choose or change. Many woman feel opressed and not able to do things they want to do. They become slaves to their husbands and have no voice or even thoughts of their own.

   Many women in America are treated in the similar manner, because some people believe that it is men’s birth right to be in charge and to be a King over women.

Soultana wants people to think how women feel, how they live and that they have right to a safe and kind environment.

“She could be your mother. She could be your sister.
It could be her, me or you.”

Her primarily audience is young Arab girls who she wants to inspire and help to build better a attitude for themselves and hope for happy lives. She wants to show girls, that there is intersectionality in them. They are complex persons and they can be a good Muslim and follow traditions without all the abuse that takes place in Morocco.

She tries to change the conceptual map that leads people’s view of women in the Middle east. She does not look like a stereotypical woman from that region, she does not wear the traditional Islamic dress and does not cover her hair, but she dresses modestly and tries avoid offending people of faith.

 Soultana’s goal is to be a spokeswoman for women, their rights and chances for change. She has found a unique way to bring her message and be heard. She is all over the media and has become very popular and famous. She has even won some music awards for her songs. There is hope for change, hope for her continuing efforts to inspire and help girls and women in Morocco.

   Here is the link for her music:http://www.myspace.com/soultanaofficiel

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One thought on “Rap for Freedom

  1. Such an interesting musician to cover, Maria! This is an example of how social media provides an outlet for alternative/new musicians to gain a wider audience.

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