How A Saudi-Born Singer Found Freedom

It’s not a country known for gender equality, but for Yaqub, it’s where she’s been able to pursue her dream to be a recording artist. She moved from her home in Saudi Arabia to Pakistan six years ago to study computer engineering. For Yaqub, it meant freedom from Saudi Arabia’s stricter Islamic laws. And it’s in Lahore where she started singing — in public — at her university. At just age 19, Yaqub was discovered by music producer and mentor Xulfi — imagine Simon Cowell, except nicer. She started as a backing vocalist for Xulfi’s television music series, “Nescafé Basement.” Then she started recording her own music. Beautiful.

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