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Afghan Singer Rokhshana Dies at 80

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Hamida Aseel known as Rokhshana one of the first Afghan woman singers in the country in 1950s passed away in the US.

Artists and her friends described her as a key player in institutionalizing women’s place in music and singing in Afghanistan.

She was born and raised in Kabul. She was the daughter of Asil Khan Waziri, a four-star general in Afghanistan’s army.

She sang songs in Persian and Pashto. One of her songs, Chashm-e-Siyah Dari, was quite famous at the time as it was also sung by Afghan, Iranian and Tajikistan singers.

She held a few concerts in Afghanistan but left the country forty years ago. Rokhshana returned to the country after the fall of the Taliban in 2001 but went back to the US.

In one of her interviews, she had said that she will resume her artistic activities if she returns to the country.

Famous woman singer Aryana Saeed said Rokhshana was the first Afghan woman whose song was aired on national radio and that she opened the for next generations to come.