Meet Amani Yahya, Yemen’s first female rapper who says She will Shine

Meet Amani Yahya, Yemen’s first female rapper who says She will Shine
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It's day three of the Liverpool Arab Arts celebration, yet one of its entertainers hasn't yet been to a solitary occasion. Amani Yahya – charged as Yemen's first female rapper – is still a large number of miles away.

With her country on the edge of common war, Yahya, alongside her family, has needed to escape to Saudi Arabia, where the kingdom's strict tenets mean her fledging musical profession has arrived at a sudden stop. On top of this, her visa to go to the UK celebration has been denied.

"I was so eager to be going to the UK," says the 22-year-old, who began rapping in her room while at secondary school. "It was a smidgen of trust – that I could go to expressions of the human experience celebration and meet new individuals. They said the welcome to the celebration didn't have an official stamp, however I think it was my nationality. They think everybody who originates from Yemen is searching for shelter."

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However, in the event that outcast and war would be sufficient to pulverize a great many people, the mistake at missing the celebration is the main time her perky tone wavers. What's more, she brings up, this is not the first setback she has confronted. Her first open exhibitions, while relaxed, started shock in the undeniably progressive Yemeni society.

Educated in Saudi Arabia, where her dad met expectations, it was just when she came back to Sana'a, Yemen's capital, to study dentistry that she initially thought to be tailing her musical aspirations. "There was a little café next to my home, where individuals would accumulate to discuss music and books. It was unfamiliar to me on the grounds that you don't discover individuals who need to discuss those things all around here. In this way, I used to go there consistently."

Her companions persuaded her to perform, and the occasion, where Yahya was joined by a female guitarist, Alaa' Haider, was a win, prompting more gigs at private gatherings and even at the French and American consulates. Daily paper articles took after, and the BBC taped Yahya and Haider performing together. In any case, the media consideration immediately prompted a frightening backlash.

“[People] panicked – they saw pictures of me without a hijab or abaya. I got anonymous phone calls and threats. They said I should stop what I was doing, that it was haram and that I should be ashamed.”
Yahya, however, refused to be cowed. “My mom would have been really worried if she had known. So I decided not to tell people and just carry on. Women in Yemen don’t show their talents because our society is so dominated by men, and they don’t support women ... in music,” she says. “But my dad loves music and my parents always taught me to speak my mind.”
Yahya – who started writing lyrics in her diary at high school and taught herself to rap by listening to artists such as Lil Wayne – says this is why she is determined to focus on the problems Yemeni women face.
“I have personal songs, too - about my life experiences. But I wanted to be a strong voice for Yemeni girls and talk about their issues. I have songs about women’s rights, child marriage and sexual harassment. People need to understand women can do things: they aren’t just born for marriage and children.”
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