Turning trauma into tune: Egyptian band helps women tackle taboos

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Turning trauma into tune: Egyptian band helps women tackle taboos

With lyrics inspired by the testimony of rural girls and women, Elbouma is using music to critique patriarchy

Menna A Farouk

Misogyny, child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM): not the usual topics one may expect to inspire a band in Egypt.

But a feminist duo, Elbouma, or “The Owl” in Arabic, is blending old melodies, new rhythms and bold lyrics to critique abuses faced by women and girls in their broadly conservative north African country.

In its new album, the band covers sexism, patriarchy and gender-based violence (GBV), with harmful practices such as FGM still common in remote parts of Egypt...

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