Sorya Shahidy redefined the traditional art of tattooing into its Modish era, being the only female Tattooist in the country, she challenges stereotypes through her art.

Soraya believes she is the first female tattoo artist in a country where the tattoo is known forbidden under Islam.

Soraya told Reuters “I could have performed this profession abroad but I wanted to do it in Afghanistan because there are no female tattoo artists in the country,” adding to her words that, “I believe it’s not only men who can apply tattoos. Women can do it too”.

Shahidy a 27-year-old body artist, who trained in Turkey and Iran insists her job is legitimate in the Islamic world.

“Some mullahs say tattoos are forbidden, but there are other mullahs who say the opposite,” she said,

She added, that Kabul is seeing a small but growing demand from young people to get tattoos.

“Most clients want tattoos on their wrists, arms, neck, and legs… Girls are more interested in delicate tattoo designs such as flowers, butterflies, and dragonflies, or the names of people they love. But some boys choose designs that are extravagant to me.” Shahidy said.

Shahidy described the taste of young people in Body arts extravagant,

“Most clients want tattoos on their wrists, arms, neck, and legs… Girls are more interested in delicate tattoo designs such as flowers, butterflies, and dragonflies, or the names of people they love. But some boys choose designs that are extravagant to me.” She told Reuters.

“We are not the people who can easily lose the achievements we have gained over the recent years,” she said.

Like others, she thinks of a possible return of the Taliban but expresses her confidence that the country has changed since the hardline Islamists were ousted in 2001.

It is not that people are completely unfamiliar with the art, in Afghanistan “khaal or Sheen Khaal” is pretty known among the Tribal women.

A very ancient traditional technic used to modify the female face, mostly known as the beatification dots, men on the other hand have used such technic mostly on their hands.

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  • Mohammad Haroon Alim holds a BBA degree from Kardan University. He works as a sub-editor for Khaama Press.