• Mahsa Vahdat

    Mahsa Vahdat is a strong advocate of freedom of expression. Her stunning voice has caught international attention but remains unheard to Iranians.

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  • Farhad Darya

    To millions of Afghans, Farhad Darya symbolized the return of music after the Taliban’s fall in 2001.

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  • Lapiro De Mbanga

    Described as an “unceremonial sheriff of the backyards,” Lapiro has used the power of popular music to campaign for social reforms in his native Cameroon for nearly twenty years.

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  • Marcel Khalife

    On November 3, 1999, Marcel Khalife stood before the Beirut Court of First Instance accused of blasphemy — charges that could warrant six months to six years imprisonment.

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  • Chiwoniso Maraire

    Originally a strong supporter of President Robert Mugabe’s land reforms in Zimbabwe, Chiwoniso Maraire started openly criticizing the lack of competence, the increasing corruption and lack of free speech.

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  • Tiken Jah Fakoly

    An idol for millions of Africans who feel disenfranchised and repressed, Tiken Jah Fakoly has tirelessly denounced political corruption in his home country, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast).

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  • Abazar Hamid

    Abazar Hamid has had many of his songs censored by authorities in Sudan. In 2005 he quit his job as an architect to devote himself full time to the more controversial goal of using music to transform a country so often at war with itself.

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  • Kamilya Jubran

    Born in the Israeli town of Akka (Acre) in 1963, Palestinian singer Kamilya Jubran has forged one of the most iconoclastic and courageous careers in the Middle East.

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  • Kurash Sultan

    In the 1990’s, Kurash Sultan became a symbol for the Uighur resistance movement protesting Chinese dominance and cultural oppression.

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  • Ferhat Tunç

    Death threats, police brutality and endless court cases have become unwelcome companions to the life of songwriter, and political activist Ferhat Tunç.

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  • Aziza Brahim

    In her songs, Aziza evokes exile, the right to freedom, and human rights. Aziza mixes her songs at concerts with speeches about Western Sahara, the disputed area invaded in 1975 by Morocco.

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  • Haroon Bacha

    Haroon Bacha is a popular Pashtun singer from Peshawar, Pakistan. Because of his music’s messages of pluralism and peace, he became a prime target of the campaign against music by religious extremists.

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  • Fadal Dey

    When Fadal Dey took part in the 3rd Freemuse World Conference in Istanbul in 2006 he talked about self censorship: “There are lines I can’t cross, so I practice self-censorship in a way”.

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  • Amal Murkus

    Amal Murkus is a Palestinian singer born and living in Israel. While her music has been rejected by every major Israeli record company, it has set new standards in expressions with cross-Mediterranean influences.

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