The other day during dinner, my roommate and I were having our usual nightly conversation on what is going on in the world around us- which typically consists of things that we have recently read or watched in the news that we think is really cool. I was telling her how I wasn’t sure what I was going to post about this week in the blog, and we both kind of stopped to think for a bit. Not long after, my roommate had told me that she remembered hearing something on the radio about an all-female rock band in Pakistan that has decided to call it quits. I was immediately intrigued, and thought you all may be too. I had to keep digging.
As soon as she told me this I began to research. And I ended up finding out so much on these girls in the band- even some clips of their music! I was so impressed by these young women and just knew I had to share their story with you.
The band, named Pragash, which means “from darkness to light”, consists of just three girls- two 15 year-olds and one 16 year-old. They are the only all-female rock band in Pakistan, and have recently decided to quit playing together because they have been receiving a lot of hate mail through social media lately. Now, this isn’t anything new as people have been against them since they began playing, but what really scared the girls is this thing called a “Fatwa”. It’s an official death threat essentially saying that if they don’t stop playing music with each other, it could cost them their lives. Pretty scary huh? So, the girls have decided to stop playing with each other in order to protect themselves and their families from any danger.
You may be asking why this band of all girls is such a big deal. I mean, there are plenty of all girl bands in the U.S. and no one sends them scary hate mail. Pakistan is very different though. These girls live in a country where traditionally people believe that women should not have the same rights as men. They believe that they should dress extremely modest while in public and in some areas of Pakistan, women do not receive the same education as men- which puts women at a severe disadvantage when it comes to finding a job. These girls live in a country where women are not as respected as men. I know it is difficult to understand all of this when we live in a country that gives women the right to do whatever men can do- even most recently the right to now fight in combat alongside men, but it is going on in so many places around the world. The girls in the band Pragash face hard-ships that most of us cannot even begin to understand, and it is unbelievable how far they have made it. They haven’t let this get to them too much though, and they are currently still taking music lessons to better themselves every day. They just have stopped playing together as a public figure now. But how cool are these girls?!
I tell you this story because I want to stress to you all how LUCKY we are to live is such a beautiful country where women and men are viewed as equals and have all of the same opportunities. I tell you this so that you are reminded to NEVER back down from something because you are too scared of what others will think. Can you imagine what these girls felt when people were sending them letters saying that they shouldn’t be allowed to play music? We need to embrace the freedoms that we have and never ever back down from something that we love because of what someone else says. I challenge you to put yourselves in each of the girls’ shoes. What would you do if you were told that you had to stop playing the sport that you love or stop playing the music that makes you so happy, or anything that you enjoy doing? Pretty crazy stuff, huh? I want to remind you all to be grateful for the freedoms that we have each and every day and how awesome of a country we live in. So, go out there and do something that you LOVE to do and something that will make you HAPPY. Don’t EVER hold back on your dreams!
I hope you all are having a fantastic Wednesday. Keep reading, watching, and listening to all of the books, shows, and music that you love! And I hope the rest of the week is just wonderful for each and every one of you!
P.S. Don’t forget to check out our website www.onequay.org!