Mursal’s life story is dramatic, compelling, and very representative of the plight of too many modern-day refugees, but especially resonant with fellow Somalis. One of the first professional female vocalists of Muslim faith, Mursal was a star in her homeland while still in her teens. Having developed the unique blend of Eastern and African influences that she calls “Somali Jazz” in the nightclubs, Mursal was a top recording artist by the mid-’80s as well as a vocalist we the government-supported music and dance troupe, Waaberi group.
However, political censorship ultimately forced her to give up singing locally, and then when civil war broke out in the 90’s, she was forced to flee the country with her children to a refugee camp in Kenya. There, after her daughters were threatened with rape, she then had to bribe her way out with her family, and which began a long journey that eventually ended with asylum in Denmark. After that she would re-establish her singing career, eventually signing to Peter Gabriel’s Real World label, where her debut autobiographical album “The Journey” brought her even more widespread worldwide recognition.