Mariem Hassan and Anusheh

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For the last 13 years Mariem Hassan's heartfelt, piercing voice has been the musical ambassador of the Western Saharan people. The Saharawis became refugees in 1979 when after the exploitation of its people and resources, Spain abandoned Western Sahara as a colony and ceded it to Morocco. The Saharawis now live in isolated refugee camps under harsh conditions and with little freedom. As the film traces her development as a singer and shows her tireless effort to promote the Saharawi cause and culture, it also outlines how her people lost their homeland and the efforts being made by European countries to help them regain their sovereignty. Anusheh is a fiery, outspoken Bangladeshi singer-songwriter whose band Bangla is very popular with young people in her homeland. She has pioneered the fusion of traditional rural songs with rock music, giving them new life. As a Fakiri, Anusheh has been attacked by Islamic fundamentalists, but has fought back courageously, stating that the Islamicists do not represent the real spiritual values of her countrymen. Her strength comes from her firm faith in Marfat, that is, finding God within oneself. The film observes her recording in a studio in Dhoka, the capitol, and making a pilgrimmage to Kushtia in western Bangladesh, where she sings and communes with her guru. We also see her in the store she started in Dhoka, where she employs disabled people, former sex workers and roadside painters.

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