Dashni Morad

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Dashni Morad
Dashni Morad at Hans van Eijsden.jpg
Dashni Morad
Background information
Native name دەشنێ موراد
Born (1986-01-01) January 1, 1986 (age 31)
Sulaimaniyah, Iraq
Occupation(s) Singer – Songwriter – Television Presenter – Activist
Years active 2006–present)
Website www.dashnimorad.com

Dashni Morad (Kurdish: Deşnê Morad / دەشنێ موراد; born 1 January 1986) is an Iraqi Kurdish-Dutch singer, songwriter, television presenter, human rights and environmental activist.[1][2] Born in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, she moved to Holland as a refugee with her family in 1997.[1][3][4] She rose to prominence in 2005 through her television show, "Bê Kontrol", which was the first of its kind in the Kurdistan Region to explore Western culture candidly.[1][2][5][6][7][8] Many people in the Kurdistan Region, particularly the youth, consider Dashni to have broken down cultural and traditional barriers for young women.[1][5][6][7][9][10] In 2009, Dashni began her musical career with the release of her first album, "Hela Hupa", which although successful was also controversial.[1][2][5][5][6][7][10] Her provocative dance moves in the music video led media outlets to refer to her as the "Shakira of Kurdistan".[5][7][9][10][11] Although many of the younger generation appreciated her music and music videos, the more conservative side of society saw them as inappropriate.[5][7][9][11] Morad released two further albums, "Hom Shika Wawa" and "Frishtay Mihreban", and a series of singles, before taking time off from her musical career in 2014 to pursue her humanitarian and environmentalist projects.[1][2][12] She founded "Green Kids" in 2012, which is a charity focused on underprivileged children, in particular refugee children, as well as the environment.[1][5][13] Morad has been actively working to try and improve conditions at the refugee camps in the Kurdistan Region, and through campaigns has managed to donate significant money and aid.[4][13][14][15][16][17][18] She is also a prominent campaigner for women’s rights and is seen as an inspirational feminist figure to many young women in the Kurdistan Region.[1]

Early life[edit]

Morad was born on 1 January 1986 in the city of Sulaimaniyah in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.[1] Following the Kurdish uprising against the Ba’ath regime in 1991, 1,400,000 Kurds fled the Kurdistan Region in fear of reprisals from Saddam Hussein.[1][3][19][20] Morad, then aged 5, was forced to flee to the Iranian border with her family, until it was safe to return home.[1][3]

In 1997, aged 11, she moved to the city of Arnhem in the Netherlands as a refugee with her family.[1][3][4][20] Whilst there, she attended St. Paulus school for two years, until she moved to the nearby town of Didam in 1999. There she attended Liemers College, where she acquired a HAVO diploma. She started modeling when she was 16 and also took up street dance.[2][21] She also used to play football as a teenager, until her parents forced her to leave because of cultural reasons.[2][21]

Career[edit]

2005-07: Rise to prominence[edit]

Having always wanted to work in television, in 2005, aged 19, Morad auditioned for her own show at a nearby Kurdish television station, where her concept was accepted.[1] The show, "Bê Kontrol", was the first of its kind in the Kurdistan Region to explore Western culture candidly.[1][2][5][6][7][8] Many people in the Kurdistan Region, particularly the youth, consider Morad to have broken down cultural and traditional barriers for young women.[1][5][6][7][9][10] The show aired for two years on Kurdistan TV, a major Iraqi Kurdish television network, and Morad soon became a household name in the Kurdistan Region.[1][8]

2008-11: Music and controversy[edit]

Morad had always dreamt of becoming a singer[21] and in 2008 she met a producer, Halkawt Zahir, whom she would eventually make three albums with.[22] In 2009, she began her music career with the release of her first album, "Hela Hupa", which although successful was also controversial.[1][2][5][5][6][7][10][20] The style of the album was considered as folk music with pop beats.[5][20] Her provocative dance moves in the "Hela Hupa" music video led media outlets to refer to her as the "Shakira of Kurdistan".[5][7][9][10][11] Although many of the younger generation appreciated her music and music videos, the more conservative side of society saw them as inappropriate.[5][7][9][11] A number of Imams preached against her at mosques and certain more conservative television channels boycotted her music videos.[6][9][11] At one point, she also received death threats.[1]

Morad persisted to make music with intentionally open Western themes.[1] In 2010, she released her second album, "Shika Wawa", which was boycotted by much of the television and media industry in the Kurdistan Region.[2][12] However, the first single released from the album, "Hom Shika Wawa", was more successful abroad, receiving significant airtime on the Arab world’s leading music channel, Rotana.[22] Fadi Haddad, the renowned Lebanese director, directed the music video for "Hom Shika Wawa".[22] It was the first time that an Iraqi Kurdish artist had a music video aired on a major international music channel.[22] Also in 2010, Morad presented "The Dashni Show", which was a talk show that openly discussed female issues such as romantic relationships, which is a subject that remains taboo in Kurdish society.[4][7][8][12]

In 2011, she released her third album, "Frishtay Mihraban", which was a much bigger success than her second album.[2] Later in 2011, well known for her kind-heartedness, Morad helped an Ethiopian maid, Maha, to become a singer in the Kurdistan Region.[2][21][23]

2012-14: New beginnings[edit]

Having left her old producer, in 2012, Morad released her first English single, "Open Your Eyes", which was not only a hit in the Kurdistan Region, but also the wider Iraq, Lebanon and Holland.[1] In Holland, "Open Your Eyes" was number one for six weeks on FunX Radio’s XCHART.[24] "Open Your Eyes" was produced by Gary Stevenson and written by Goran Kay.[1] Morad was relieved that she was finally able to make the type of music that she wanted.[1] Later that year, In solidarity with the Syrian people, Morad recorded the song "Power of Love".[25][26]

This image shows us making the music video to Open Your Eyes.

Morad also in 2012, began presenting a new talk show, "Shepolakani Jiyan", or "Waves of Life", where she focused on education, women’s rights and environmental issues.[1]

In 2013, Morad and fellow artist Karwan Kamil were awarded a Golden Record for the Best Music Award 2013 by the Institute of Music in Duhok for their single "Binaz".[27][28] Later that same year, Morad collaborated with the Kurdish musical trio Le Dinê, to release the single "Take Me Home".[29] Also in 2013, Morad was offered a record deal by a Lebanese music label to release her album in 24 countries.[1] However, the deal collapsed after being sabotaged by her management team.[1]

In 2014, after further difficulties with her management team, she decided to leave them, and focus on her charity projects.[1]

Discography[edit]

  • Hela Hupa (Album/2009)[30]
  • Hom Shika Wawa (Album/2010)[31]
  • Frishtay Mihreban (Album/2011)[32]
  • I Am (Open Your Eyes) (Single/2012)[33]
  • Binaz (Karwan Kamil ft. Dashni Morad) (Single/2012)[28]
  • Power of Love (Single/2013)[26]
  • Take Me Home (Le Dinê ft. Dashni Morad) (Single/2013)[29]

Charity work[edit]

Morad is a human rights and environmental activist.[1][14][15][25] She founded "Green Kids" in 2012, which is a charity focused on underprivileged children, in particular refugee children, as well as the environment.[1][5] Amongst other things, Green Kids provides books and learning materials to schools.[1] To date, Green Kids has distributed over 200,000 books to underprivileged children.[5]

Working on Green Kids

Morad has been actively working to try and improve the conditions at the refugee camps in the Kurdistan Region.[15] In 2013, Morad ran a region-wide campaign and raised $50,000 from public donations for the Domuz Syrian Refugee Camp in the Kurdistan Region.[18] In September 2015, in partnership with Hoby Group Iraq and Adra Kurdistan, Green Kids opened a mini-library at the Baharka Refugee Camp near Erbil.[14][16] The library provides books in English, Arabic and Kurdish.[14][16] In April 2016, Morad also collected toys and books donated by school children from the Annie MG Schmidt School in Arnhem (Holland), for her second Mini Children's Library in a refugee camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, which she plans to open in 2016.[4]

Morad has been actively campaigning for and supporting captured and internally displaced Yazidis since 2014.[13] She is currently running a campaign called "Yazidi Girls", aimed at raising money and awareness in support of Yazidis and other minorities who have suffered at the hands of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq.[13] In 2014, Morad collected over 30 tons of aid in cooperation with Mala Ezidi Kalkar, donated by people from her local community in Arnhem, for internally displaced Yazidis in the Kurdistan Region.[13][17]

Morad is also a prominent campaigner for women’s rights and is seen as an inspirational feminist figure to many young women in the Kurdistan Region.[1] She is currently running a campaign, "Female Voices of the World", which aims to provide a platform for women to speak out and share their stories with one another, where before they were are unable.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad "Dashni Morad - My story". paulonatal.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Dashni Morad | Music Videos, News, Photos, Tour Dates | MTV". MTV Artists. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Watch "Bombs, mountains and an unlikely female voice | Dashni Morad | TEDxErbil" Video at TEDxTalks". TEDxTalks. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Arnhemse zangeres berucht en beroemd in Irak" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Kuhn, Seda Sasha (2015-10-20). "Kurdish Women: A story Of Struggle And Inspiration". zîv. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "IRAQ: Kurdistan's 'Shakira' causes shock waves in her homeland". LA Times Blogs - Babylon & Beyond. 2009-10-17. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "You are being redirected...". ekurd.net. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Dashni Murad shakes conservative Kurdistan". 2009-08-28. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "Those who condemns Dashni should shut up!". usk2.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Iraq's 'Shakira' shakes conservative Kurdistan". Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "You are being redirected...". ekurd.net. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  12. ^ a b c "You are being redirected...". ekurd.net. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Dashni Morad - Projects". paulonatal.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  14. ^ a b c d Dashni Morad (2016-06-01), A mini library for children at the Baharka Camp - Hewler Kurdistan, retrieved 2016-10-02 
  15. ^ a b c "Zoekende Dashni Morad: De haat blijft maar groeien in de wereld" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  16. ^ a b c Dashni Morad (2016-07-12), A Mini Library for children at the Baharka Camp - Hewler Kurdistan, retrieved 2016-10-02 
  17. ^ a b "Dashni Morad". paulonatal.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  18. ^ a b Dashni Morad (2013-08-04), A report by Dashni Morad about the Syrian Kurds as refugees in the Domuz Camp in Kurdistan Iraq, retrieved 2016-10-02 
  19. ^ "You are being redirected...". www.basnews.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  20. ^ a b c d KuriNL Slemani (2010-11-12), dashne murad interview bbc tv, retrieved 2016-10-02 
  21. ^ a b c d "Dashni Morad Kurdish Singer, Erbil Lifestyle, Interview on Erbilia". erbilia.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  22. ^ a b c d "You are being redirected...". ekurd.net. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  23. ^ "Ethiopian maid trades cleaning for singing in Iraq". Al arabiya. 6 November 2010. 
  24. ^ "XChart". FunX.nl. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  25. ^ a b "Dashni Morad Kurdish Singer, Erbil Events, Interview on Erbilia". erbilia.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  26. ^ a b Dashni Morad (2013-04-19), Dashni Morad - Power of Love Official Music Video, retrieved 2016-10-02 
  27. ^ "Dashni Morad - Photos | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  28. ^ a b Vin TV (2012-11-06), Karwan Kamil&Dashni Morad - Binaz- (Kurdish Music), retrieved 2016-10-02 
  29. ^ a b Vin TV (2013-08-20), Li Dine ft Dashni Murad -Take me home Kurdish Music, retrieved 2016-10-02 
  30. ^ alex0cool0lool (2008-12-30), Dashni Murad - Hela Hupa New Clip 2009 [HQ] Kurdish Music, retrieved 2016-10-02 
  31. ^ ChannelMusic2000 (2013-06-02), DASHNI SHika Wawa, retrieved 2016-10-02 
  32. ^ "Dashni Murad - Full New Album (Frishtay Mihreban) 2011". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  33. ^ Dashni Morad (2012-03-18), Dashni Morad - I Am (Open Your Eyes) Official Music Video, retrieved 2016-10-02 

External links[edit]