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Women Singers in Global ContextsMusic, Biography, Identity$
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Ruth Hellier

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037245

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037245.001.0001

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Zainab Herawi

Zainab Herawi

Finding Acclaim in the Conservative Islamic Culture of Afghanistan

(p.194) 10. Zainab Herawi
Women Singers in Global Contexts

Veronica Doubleday

University of Illinois Press

This chapter deals with the life and career of Zainab Herawi. She began her singing career as a child apprentice in the Herat region of Afghanistan in the 1940s, within the context of a class-based society, where singing by women was considered to be morally questionable. Zainab's is a story of unfulfilled fame because, although she was invited to sing for Kabul Radio when twenty-seven, family and background pressures and constraints led to her returning home, where she continued to sing for wedding celebrations. As a series of choices and struggles involving the interfacing domains of family, location, religion, and vocality, her life as a local singer with a large family was one of frequent anguish and frustration; yet her songs live on in the narratives and performances of musician and scholar Veronica Doubleday.

Keywords:   Zainab Herawi, class-based society, women singers, Kabul Radio, family pressures, religion, vocality, Veronica Doubleday

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