Elaha Suror has been receiving death threats for her participation in Afghan Star. Here are some snippets of a report on Elaha Suror by AFP.
Born in Kabul and named Mariam, she spent her first 14 years in Iran, living a “normal life” with her father, a former pilot in army and now businessman, and her mother who stayed at home with six children.
With the stage name of Elaha, she is a charming contestant of American Idol-like “Afghan Star” this year. The 20-year-old is steadfast in her dream of becoming a singer and inspiring the women of war-torn country to make their own destinies.
Moments after she was eliminated form the fourth season of “Afghan Star,” Elaha Sorur was shown live on television, slumped on the floor behind the scenes, her body heaving with sobs, her head on her arms.
The invasive camera of Tolo TV caught it all, the sound turned up to catch the loud weeping of the deposed favorite. It was a dramatic development, totally unexpected from a woman who endured death threats to become the only female left standing among eight contestants. Since the start of the hit show three months ago, the pretty Hazara girl has seduced fans–a new urban, Westernized, internet generation that has emerged since the 2001 fall of the Taliban.
The previous Thursday she again charmed an audience of 400 in a hall where the programme is recorded twice a week. In a long coat and denim skirt, with red boots and a colourful scarf covering her hair, Elaha sang the lyrics of star Farhad Darya, who was the guest of the day. “Time passes, the season of the flowers too / Time passes, it will return, but the young will have aged,” she crooned into the microphone, smiling and rocking her body in time to the music. There was high praise from Darya. “I admire your courage in a country where tradition keeps women in the home. Elaha, all Afghanistani musicians are with you!”
Judges and fans were unanimous: never has a female competitor shown such talent.
She told AFP in an interview before being knocked out of the contest that returning to Afghanistan handed her a double handicap: being a woman and wanting to sing–a deviant activity, according to the country’s radical Islamists (that have already threatened Elaha).
“But I am hooked,” she said. In 2004 she joined group of musicians; four years later she auditioned for “Afghan Star.” The young woman admitted her life had changed radically in the past three months.
Had her 10 minutes of fame yielded any love letters, even marriage requests? She laughed: “Yes, that has happened.”
But not everything has been good–one anonymous caller threatened to throw acid at her, she said. Even in her own family, an uncle made a death threat against her because of her chosen path. But she would not be deterred. “Nothing can stop me from offering my music to people. Music opens the spirit, helps it to grow. And I want Afghanistani women to never have to be ashamed of being women,” she said. ”
At the time of the interview, she was sure she would make it through to the next round. Just a few days later, her hopes were crushed. Supporters have several theories: rivals launched a voting campaign against her; there was pressure from conservatives; her supporters were lax about voting.
When the verdict was announced, Elaha was stunned, and the tears rolled down her round cheeks. But she was still able to say to the audience: “You will see later who will be the star. You will hear my songs!”
Elaha Suror can be back! In Afghan Star’s wildcard round, one of the eliminated stars can be voted back in. To read how you can help her be back, read the rules.