US diplomat writes and sings Pashto song for Malala

Jenaiy from Black Box Sounds on Vimeo.

A US diplomacy official has written and sang a Pashto song “Jenaiy”, which means “girl”, as a tribute to Malala Yousufzai, the teenager who was shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting education for girls. She has taken a novel approach to diplomacy in Pakistan – singing in a local language to build bridges, where anti-Americanism runs rampant. Shayla Cram, a public diplomacy officer assigned to Peshawar, the gateway to al Qaeda and Taliban strongholds in the northwestern tribal belt, has not only learnt Pashto but has penned her own Pashto-style song. It features Cram on guitar and vocals and a Pakistani musician, Sarmad Ghafoor, on the rabab — a traditional stringed instrument — and urges girls to have hope for the future and pursue their dreams.