Image description: There are two photos, both showing the same woman, who has shoulder length brown hair. In one photo, she wears black trousers and a black T-shirt on which there is an image and stylized writing, both indistinct. A red plaid shirt is wrapped around her waist and she holds an electric guitar, which is slung from a shoulder strap. She is playing the guitar, looking down at it. She stands against a beige wall; just behind her head is a small circle of colors on the wall. In the bottom right corner of the photo is the name Sally, in white, all-caps. In the other photo, we see her from the waist up. She is smiling, her head raised up and to the left. She wears a black, long-sleeved shirt with white bands on the arm and a white image on the front: we can see 1996 and, below that, a photo of two people, but her crossed arms are obscuring the photos. The background is a yellow green.
My name is Sally Also known as Sally Mars, 25 years old Graduate of the College of Business and Economics Business Administration Department Baghdad province.
My story began when I was seventeen; I asked my family for an electric guitar as a gift for my birthday as I was obsessed with rock and metal. After persistently training on the Internet; I met several young musicians and they became my friends. At the time, I felt like I had built my own small community; in which I felt I belonged and benefited from. I entered the Art for Peace Center run by Maestro Karim Wasfi, but I did not continue because of my studies. After a few months had passed, I plucked up the courage and took one of my first serious steps, which was to present to the Dar Al-Salam Festival in Baghdad. It was to perform a musical performance, and it was the first time for me to perform on stage. The topic was thorny and a little embarrassing for my family for fear of the nature of society and the stories that would have been told about me later on. To be frank, their concerns were in place, I encountered harsh words from relatives and university colleagues. However, I bet on time and I secretly said that time would change everything and I was right. People who discorded me previously, started enjoying my performance and encouraged me. I quit music several times because of my family problems that were caused by the ongoing gossip, which were along the lines of “Sally, become anything but not a musician.” I thought, if I left music and the guitar to disappear from my life, where would I find myself? I couldn't find an answer, so I went back to my country, which I hold dear in my heart. Society's view of women artists in general is poor and considered devoid of messages and meaningful content. No one wants to understand art, whether produced by a man or a woman, art is a kind of a message that discusses social issues and sometimes finds solutions to them. As a child, I felt that the challenges I faced at that time were greater than my energy, especially psychologically, but every year I got older and I felt that the true support was my passion and my desire to persevere. My next step is to make independent music in collaboration with young musicians. My message to my the women of my country, Try to not give up and to realize your dreams, no matter how harsh society views them, it is not a shame that a person is not what others want her to be.