FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Putting the Grrr into Girl Power
On Sept 3, Iraqis in Pajamas releases Grrrl Monster – an intimate exploration of what it means to be a young woman navigating through a misogynistic world.
Seattle, WA – By the 1990s, the feminist movement had raised a generation of men who valued female strength, intelligence, and passion, but who typically recoiled from women who were as strong, smart, and bold as men – or worse yet, more so than men. In addition, while domestic violence and date rape were beginning to permeate national consciousness and discourse, the more intimate and subtle forms of violence against women typically were unacknowledged, if not gaslighted, and women were left to pick up the pieces on their own. Meanwhile, it was deemed socially acceptable for women to be imprisoned at home at night or to require the escort of men, when going for a walk after dark.
Against this cultural backdrop, 20-something Loolwa Khazzoom navigated life and love, with a radical devotion to her freedom, dignity, power, and safety – conventional norms and expectations be damned. From biking alone at 3:00 am, to hitting men who harassed her, and from reconstructing sex, to forcing a flasher to zip up his pants, Khazzoom seized life in a way that was raw, bold, authentic, and fiercely unapologetic.
Forging our own path often comes with tremendous risk, struggle, and loss, as was the case for Khazzoom, and she turned to songwriting to process the depth of her experiences and feelings. Grrrl Monster reflects ten songs that she created during this time.
Loolwa is a force of nature. It’s no surprise to us that…her courageous heart expresses itself so eloquently in the hurricane of her gritty music. – Deva Premal & Miten, Billboard chart-topping musicians
Loolwa Khazzoom is a brilliant lyricist and a dedicated artist, with the ability to teach through her art. Loolwa and her band, Iraqis in Pajamas, bring deeply personal truth through song and lyric and make us think through our own human reaction, through their profound and often cathartic performances. We need more of this! We need more art that makes us think in this turbulent world. Loolwa is the pearl in the oyster of a nation in great need of more awareness and enlightened thinking. – Lara Lavi,Grammy Award-winning musician
Hearing Loolwa Khazzoom live is like being struck by a thunderbolt. Her music will crack you open and get under your skin in the best way. Her lyrics are raw and visceral, combining prayer with deeply personal truth…Her music will have you reevaluating what it means to be human. It’s both ancient and modern— holding a startling tension between the sacred and the beautiful chaos of being alive. – Katie Rudman, event producer
About Iraqis in Pajamas
In turn vulnerable and angry, haunting and inspiring, Seattle-area band Iraqis in Pajamas (IraqisInPajamas.com) disarms audiences, opening them to deep contemplation about trauma, healing, and transformation. With songs in English, Judeo-Arabic, and Hebrew, the band has a unique sound – an innovative blend of ancient Iraqi Jewish prayers, alternative rock, and personal storytelling about topics as varied as cancer, domestic violence, racism, mental illness, street harassment, family caregiving, and national exile.
Khazzoom has had a meandering career as an educator, writer, health coach, and more, all with the central organizing principle of individual and collective healing. Her work has been featured in top media including The New York Times and Rolling Stone; she has presented at leading venues including Harvard University and the Simon Wiesenthal Center; and she has published two books, taught throughout the Ivy League and at universities nationwide – The Flying Camel: Essays on Identity by Women of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Heritage and Consequence: Beyond Resisting Rape. Ultimately ditching her power suit and power point in favor of combat boots and cat glasses, Khazzoom now offers bold songwriting as the catalyst for deep and heart-centered conversation.