Artistic encounters
in war and violent conflict

Alaa Sharif

Alaa Sharif Performing Artist

Alaa Sharif is a Sudanese musician who uses her music to make positive changes in society - to plant seeds of peace and love to achieve a world free of hatred and war.

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Alaa Sharif
Performing Artist

The artist

Alaa Sharif was born in Sudan but raised in different places in Yemen, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. Her childhood contributed much to her current interests and attitudes. It was her father who introduced her to music and singing when she was a child. Alaa remembers that she always listened to her father listening to his favourite singers Mustafa Seed Ahmed and Ahmed El Mostafa, repeating the songs, and discussing the lyrics with her.

When Alaa started college, music was one of the mandatory activities and she started taking guitar lessons and singing at the Ahfad University Orchestra. Since then, Alaa started writing her own songs about love, peace, and friendship. The music gave her an outlet for the thoughts and emotions she felt difficulties to express through other means of communication.

"Music has become the way through which I express my despair, love, and hope. I don't think of myself as a politician although I was raised in an atmosphere where politics was of huge dominance. When we were in Eritrea, I always remember the gatherings at our house where my father and his friends were talking, writing, and singing about politics."

Alaa's father and his friends represented the group of political opponents, dispersed by the brutal regime and forced to leave their home. In 2013, Alaa saw the brutal way the regime repressed the demonstrations. She felt helpless and extreme anger. It was then she started writing 'Ya Watani' - a song she performed in 2017 in the Leadership Mentoring Graduation Ceremony (Alsudaniya Mentoring) and later released. See the video of the performance on Facebook here.

Alaa is also a former member of the band Salute Yal Banoot - an all women band with whom she joined in 2017 and has since then contributed with many songs. She has for example composed the songs 'Ya watani', Habeb Elemor, and Dwak Jwak.

On 17 January, 2019, Alaa was arrested by tAl Bashir security members while she was taking part of the demonstrations against the regime. She later canalised the pain and the rage she felt in the song 'Shid El hima'.

Alaa is currently working on the establishment of a new band with a group of her friends. Their aim is to make positive change in their society, discuss, and send messages that plant the seeds of peace and love. "We hope to see Sudan well developed and the people of Sudan having the decent life they deserve - a world free of hatred and war."

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