Afghan female stilt-walker sings in her country and with the national anthem

Every year, millions of foreign tourists flock to the Takht Khwa Valley in Afghanistan’s remote eastern Ghazni province. The valley features a striking landscape reminiscent of the hills in Switzerland and it is open to the public thanks to entrepreneurs who thought the isolated tourist-friendly locale would be an interesting investment.

But for more than a year, the only guides there have been locals. Now, Roshna, one of those entrepreneurs, has started a tour company to bring visitors to the Ghazni tourist spots, from the multi-hued tile-roofed homes to the rocky, quaint land of tall mountains and cascading waterfalls.

For Roshna, a unique gift for the owner of a foreign tour, would be special concerts by local female musicians, such as Roshni. The purpose of the tours is to encourage more females to try music and empower Afghan women by singing in an Afghanistan they cannot see.

Roshna has always had musical aspirations. “Being an Afghan, and being such a classic culture, traditional values and women not taking any part in history and songs, singing has been a big task for us,” she said. “I started singing in high school so I have the experience of singing and writing songs.”

As the solo singer, she has learned how to write a corrido (a colorful musical story). And to encourage Afghan women to sing, she calls her songs “Roshnagandhi.” She reappropriates the name of Afghanistan as well. The song that she wrote for one of her tours was called “Mother of the Nation.”

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