x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Emirati all-girl rock band off to a good start

The first Emirati "girl group" rock band is a remarkable success story.

Add another item to the ever-longer list of firsts for the UAE: the first Emirati "girl group" rock band.

There was a time, not so many decades ago, when female students at a school of technology were a novelty in themselves. It is a measure of the steady progress for women in the UAE that five students at the Al Ain Women's College of the Higher Colleges of Technology have now formed their own band.

The Random Stars, as they are known, began, like countless "garage bands" of young people around the world, by covering pop and rock standards. But next autumn they will begin work on their own songs.

Like so much in the UAE, the Random Stars are a combination of Emirati and expatriate efforts: the group's members had support from parents, and were encouraged by an English teacher at the school.

This is, in its modest way, a remarkable success story, considering that only one member has had formal musical training.

It's also a sociological success story. Increasingly, women in the UAE are free to pursue the careers they want. This band is a start, all right, but there's nothing random about the progress that made this possible.