All-women Islamic choir sings away gender taboos

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All-women Islamic choir sings away gender taboos

Challenges aside, Alhour is confronting deep-rooted views about women singing in public or reciting from Koran

Menna A Farouk

The words of the Islamic hymns being rehearsed in a small studio just outside Cairo are well known among Egyptian Muslims, but they have never sounded so different. Here, they are being sung by women.

Choral songs and recitals in praise of God and Muslim prophet Mohammad are a common religious custom in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East, but they are almost always performed by men and boys.

The members of Alhour, Egypt’s first all-female Muslim recitation choir, are determined to change that, challenging deep-rooted taboos about women singing in public or reciting from the Koran in the socially conservative country...

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