“Two days after a bombing in Lahore killed over 70 Pakistanis at an Easter gathering this year , the pop duo Zeb and Haniya released ‘Dadra,’ which they dedicated to their beloved city. It’s a sweet lullaby of lament, the Urdu lyrics guided by an electric guitar’s undertow. Zeb and Haniya have found an especially strong following in South India. Zeb says she was surprised and touched by how many Indian fans wrote with sympathy from across the border” (The Economist, “1843 Magazine,” June/July 2016, p. 25).
Zeb and Haniya, cousins, are American college educated Pakistanis. They blend pop music with traditional melodies from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.
A Pakistani branch of the Taliban claimed responsibility for the suicide bomb attack. It appears to be a failed political mission: it killed mostly Muslims, and women and children, though the group’s apparent intent was to target Christian men.
The people behind this song appear to be in hiding despite the courage it took for the girl it is about, to literally put herself in the line of fire for women’s freedom and education rights. They are apparently musicians from the USA, Canada, Nigeria and elsewhere, but as of writing not identifiable despite the power of Google.
Hopefully this video is a legitimate tribute and not done simply because “Malala” as a phrase rolls off the tongue for singing quite nicely. Regardless, the story of this girl needs to be reviewed by this blog.
Malala Yousafzai is the Pakistani teenage girl now being fêted with numerous peace awards, and who is a Nobel Peace prize nominee for 2013. In 2012, she was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen, returning home from school for which as a girl she was not supposed to attend. Thankfully she barely survived, and now is even more passionate about bringing attention and change to her worthy cause.
If there are other prestigious or more well-known/high profile songs for Malala, please share them with a comment below.
Most teenagers playing music after school should probably keep the garage door closed until they learn their instruments. That may not be what’s at stake for three muslim, Kashmiri girls that started, then stopped, their all-girl band. They won a local Battle of the Bands contest, but also had a fatwa issued against them for breaking Islamic code. As reported by various news sources including BBC News (Asia), South East Asia’s answer to the Runaways were criticized for demonstrating lewd and indecent behaviour for rocking out. Rather than continue, Pragaash (“Band of Lights”) is supposedly no more, voluntarily.
A fatwa could mean a death sentence, or just be like an opinion or nudge to respect and follow Islamic law. Whether a fatwa is respected depends on the reputation of the issuer (a mufti: a scholar). Kashmir is Indian-controlled territory, disputed as part of India or Pakistan.
It would be great to HEAR their music more than the few seconds the above clip includes.