Soraya Shahidy speaks with a shopper at her magnificence salon in Kabul. Reuters
Soraya Shahidy fastidiously lays a stencil on Nargis Merzayi’s arm earlier than inking the newest tattoo in her salon in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul.
A traditional routine in studios around the globe, Shahidy’s art work within the nation breaks a tattoo taboo: she believes she is the primary feminine tattoo artist in a rustic the place some spiritual students say tattoos are forbidden beneath Islam.
Soraya Shahidy tattoos a shopper at her magnificence salon in Kabul. Reuters
“I may have carried out this occupation overseas however I needed to do it in Afghanistan as a result of there aren’t any feminine tattoo artists within the nation,” she stated. “I imagine it is not solely males who can apply tattoos. Ladies can do it too.”
Shahidy, 27, who skilled in Turkey and Iran, insists her art work is respectable in Islam.
“Some mullahs say tattoos are forbidden, however there are different mullahs who say the other,” she stated, including that Kabul is seeing a small however rising demand from younger folks for tattoos.
“Most shoppers need tattoos on their wrists, arms, neck and legs… Ladies are extra excited by delicate tattoo designs reminiscent of flowers, butterflies and dragonflies, or the names of individuals they love. However some boys select designs which are extravagant to me.”
One shopper, she stated, needed a tattoo of a tombstone inscribed “volunteer of dying.”
Shahidy’s present shopper, Merzayi, was lengthy excited by getting a tattoo and eventually determined to go forward with a design on the within of her forearm.
“My tattoo is in Hindi handwriting and it means braveness,” she stated.