Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Rarity of Girls Playing Rabab

The Rarity of Girls Playing Rabab

So it is known that it’s rare to find a (Pukhtun) girl playing the rabab. (This girl named Semira Azadzoi is like an exception.) But I’m wondering ... isn’t it rare to find a Pukhtun girl doing ANYTHING? I mean, how many Pukhtun women play other instruments? During performance, many male singers sing as well as play some instrument; is this the case with females as well? I’m not deciding whether or not it’s better to be able to do more than one thing while performing, but I’m making a comparison.

Forget music. Let's talk about the media/journalism/writing. It’s a huge deal that we have someone like Farhat Taj writing on Pukhtun issues in the media – because she’s one of the extremely few who does so. I wish that wasn’t so, but since it is, let’s face it and encourage other Pukhtun females to venture on similar causes.

Then how many Pukhtun women do we have who are leading professionals in their fields – doctors, lawyers, businesswomen, engineers, professors, etc.? How many are even PERMITTED, let alone encouraged, to go into the arts, and how many are given the opportunity and freedom to go into the sciences? It’s almost really sad that we get all excited and happy when we hear of a Pukhtun woman like Samar Minallah or her sister Fauzia Minallah – the former of whom is popularly identified and the latter of whom is an artist who teaches children with special needs the message of peace through art. Really, how many women, or even men, do we know who are so involved like this? It shouldn’t be a rarity, but alas, it is. We should realize that the more fields we have Pukhtun women succeeding in, the better for Pukhtuns' future.

I don't call for every single Pukhtun female on earth to go out there and do something for her people. No, not at all. I want only those who have the means and the skills to help us, especially those who are abroad and thus have more opportunities and acceptance.

My favoritest website lists several Pukhtun women who have done something praiseworthy for their people in many different ways. They are:

Dr. Amineh Ahmed Hoti
Dr. Aneela Babar
Dr. Parveen Azam Khan
Dr. Saba Gul Khattak
Dr. Salma Shaheen
Fauzia Minallah
Mahvish Rukhsana Khan
Dr. Mehnaz Afridi
Samar Minallah
Dr. Shaheen Sardar Ali

** I expect to see Farhat Taj's name on there some time soon. The name of the lady who designs and funds this website should also be included in this list. (I know her personally; a wonderful lady! SO cool, SO intelligent, SO intellectual, SO fun, SO everything good!)**

May these women be blessed with long and healthy lives so that they will continue representing what the educated Pukhtun woman is like, or what she can become if she’s given the opportunity.
But we still need women to go into rubab-playing ;)


  1. It is a matter of great pride for Pakhtuns that our women are not only proving their latent potential in different walks of life despite the indifferent and biased policies of the state but also winning a distinguished status in the society.Pakhtun society has been matriarchal in its roots and its emotional inclination has always been to maternal love and affection. It is suggested that the learned and skilful Pukhtanay should impart their sense of Pakhtun pride and competition to their offspring on one side and train them to get ready for the contemporary techno-political challenges being faced by Pakhtuns.

    This is a successful effort to uphold the name of Pakhtun women in a conscious and wise manner and I extend my cordial felicitations to all those women,including qrratugai,who are contributing to the cause of a bright future for Pakhtuns and humanity at large.

  2. @@Da alakano na wo nashwa / Khoga watana, jinakay ba dey gateena"
    :shonday na sry kawoma mory pa akhtar kay
    che zalmi ronra me mrra de pekhawar k
    da golono khar me veny veny prot day
    pukhtana oda prata de pa khayber kay
    topak rakay che patkay da sar na taao kam
    jenakay ba os jangege pa sangar kay..

  3. Salaamoon Qrratugai!

    Happy 2010. Love the rubab here.

    Have you heard Homayun Sakhi's brilliant rendition of Khyber Zalmay? Khyber Zalmay is like a national tune for Pashtoons, and it sounds perfect in the instrumental version.

    Check out his version:

  4. Welcome to the blog, Optimus :)
    Thank you for your comment! What BEAUTIFUL poetry! Sumra rikhcha wai! Thank you for sharing it here with everyone.

    Tor Khan wror, the video on your blog isn't working; it says it "has been removed by the user." I hear Hamayun Sakhi on Youtube often, so yes I'm familiar with him. That's how I fell in love with the Rubab actually. Maybe I'll take it one day as well, ka khairee, lol. Who knows :p

  5. Qrratuga!! On the title bar of your Blog the Pashtu tapa is incorrect.Plz re-write it.The correct on is here
    Ka Da zalmo Na Pora Na shwa
    Fakhre-Afghana Jeenakai ba de Gateena
    Background & History:
    At a special meeting of women held at Lundkhawar near Mardan , the female participants presented a letter of appreciation to Ghaffar Khan, which among other things, included the following verse :
    “Should young men not keep up with you, Fakhr-e-Afghana Don’t worry, we girls will see you through victory.” (19)
    The women actively supported the Khudai Khidmatgars’20 struggle. “It made”, the Khan recalls, “a big impact on young and old, men, women and children alike… Girls had also made themselves red clothes (colour of the dress of Khudai Khidmatgars) and learnt poems by heart, which they recited to other women–folk. They read Pakhtun (Khan’s monthly Journal) with eagerness. When Pakhtun arrived, girls would gather around. One girl would read it aloud, while the others listened. In this way the Khudai Khidmatgars aroused interest in reading newspapers”.

    Source:> Ghaffar Khan : The Siddhartha of Hashtnagar

    By Sayed Sikander Mehdi, 23 mars 2007


  6. Thank you very much for dropping by, ZarinZ wror!
    Your love for Bacha Khan is very appreciated. I am a stark and passionate admirer of his works and philosophies and agree with you that he influenced Pukhtun women very much and very positively. May he always rest in peace and be rewarded for all his efforts on Pukhtun causes.

    As for your comment that the tapa is above is incorrect and the correct one is "Ka Da zalmo Na Pora Na shwa
    Fakhre-Afghana Jeenakai ba de Gateena," I can only offer that there are more than one version of it :) No? I've heard others as well. I prefer the one I've posted above.

    Thank you again for dropping by! Hope to see you again soon, wrorai!

  7. Aah, you're right Qrratugai! I played it only a couple of days ago (and the day I posted here) and it was fine. Will have to make a minor edit here, I think.


Dare to opine :)

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