A group of Saudi young women are making their voices heard – in a manner unheard of in conservative Saudi Arabia.
Writing at Muslimah Media Watch, Ethar tells us the story:
The internet is abuzz with talk about an all new rock band, The Accolade. Nothing special, you would think, until you realize that not only are the members all women, but all Saudi women.
And being Saudi women, is what is drawing the world's attention to this band:
On the day the band made the front page of The New York Times (NYT), their ‘friends’ on their MySpace page went from 17 to 584. Today, only four days later, they have almost 1,000 friends, over 130,000 profile views, and comments from people in Italy, Spain, Korea, Sweden, Mexico, Germany and the USA (to name a few) saluting them and wishing them luck. That’s in addition to almost 1,000 fans on their Facebook page.
The band is made up of four college students: 21-year-old Dina (the guitarist) and her 19-year-old sister Dareen (bass guitarist), along with Lamia (vocals) and Amjad (keyboard). Here’s a short interview with them.
Egyptian Zeinobia picks up the story for the Egyptian Chronicles and writes:
To be honest I was surprised ,I think this is the first Saudi Rock group ever , the hip hop and Rap are much popular than rock as I know in KSA. Also I thought they would sing in Arabic, some of the rock bands in Egypt do sing in Arabic. Anyhow good luck to them,hopefully no one would harm them insh Allah (by the will of God).
The Accolade is a rock band from Saudi Arabia, the unusual thing is that the band members all girls, yes Saudi girls, of course they didn’t go public, but they dream of performing live in Dubai, do you think it’s happening? This is their first hit, Pinocchio:
Writing on Mideast Youth, Rasha from Saudi Arabia, sheds some light on what makes this band extra special. She explains:
In an ultra conservative country such as Saudi Arabia, an all female rock band is not exactly the norm! These four college students were brave enough to follow their dreams and stand against the tides of a society that is hardly forgiving to such taboos.
Rasha further adds:
These girls live in Jeddah, which is known to have a much more relaxed atmosphere than other parts of the kingdom. There are more and more male bands and concerts playing openly for the public, and you can even notice that there is less segregation between the genders in restaurants and shopping malls.
I have visited Jeddah a few weeks back. It really felt as if I had entered another country! People are much more relaxed and women can actually be comfortable in their own skin! unlike other areas of Saudi Arabia where women are made to feel awkward just by their mere presence in public.
But still, an all girls rock band does break so many social chains even in Jeddah. They won’t be able to perform in public unless they do private parties or for all girls only. None the less , their music is being heard and downloaded from inside and outside the kingdom.