Afghan female singer's video draws threats and praise

Aryana Sayeed Image copyright Aryana Sayeed/Facebook
Image caption "Be a girl with a mind, a woman with attitude and a lady with class," Aryana Sayeed on Facebook

Afghan singer, songwriter and TV personality Aryana Sayeed will perform at a concert celebrating Afghan Independence Day on 19 August, but not everyone is happy.

As a traditionally conservative society, women in Afghanistan are restricted in what they can wear or do. Western clothing and not covering the head is considered by many to be against the national norm.

So when Ms Sayeed, known for promoting empowerment among women, posted an eight-minute-long Facebook Live video, the comments were divided.

With her high number of followers - almost 1.9 million - the clip was viewed over 119,000 times in its first day.

Image copyright Aryana Sayeed

Some praised the singer and wished her good luck, whilst others have insulted her and alluded to "explosions" at her concert.

"We support you. Your concert is a kick in the teeth to wrong-headed people," wrote Facebook user Omid Ahmadi.

Others agreed and wished her good luck, including Zenat Amiri's: "I hope, God willing, your concert passes safely and may God be with you."

Sahil Seerat wrote: "This is in fact not a concert but a fight for freedom and justice, and against violence, despotism and obscurity."

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However, some opponents of the singer accused her of "misleading thousands of people."

Others spoke of the possibility of a suicide attack at the concert, while some told Ms Sayeed she was "hated," and to celebrate in another country.

Image copyright Aryana Sayeed/Facebook
Image caption Aryana Sayeed insisted the concert would go ahead

There had been some speculation whether the concert would be cancelled, but Ms Sayeed was quick to reject the rumours on Facebook on Monday. The singer expressed her patriotism and enthusiasm for unity in Afghanistan, adding profits from the concert would be used to help those affected by war.

It's not her first time to court controversy. In May, she burned a skin-coloured dress she had worn at a concert, after religious figures and members of the public branded the controversial tight outfit against Afghan culture and non-Islamic.

Ms Sayeed, who has lived in Pakistan, Switzerland and now England, is known for her liberal views, western clothes and has 257,000 followers on Instagram, where she posts many photos of her clothing and make-up.

Image copyright Aryana Sayeed/Facebook
Image caption Aryana has posted many selfies across Facebook and Instagram

Additional reporting from BBC Monitoring.

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