The valley, which was once a picturesque destination for international tourists, has been under Taliban control for many years now. They once terrorized the region, targeting many different people - nurses, teachers and clergy, women in general, and even musicians. But ever since the Pakistani army took over again in 2009, life has been slowly returning to normal. Still attacks on certain individuals, such as my hero Malala Yousafzai, have egregiously continued.
Musicians who had fled the region are now returning to Swat, so I pray that the brave people of Swat will continue to sing, dance, paint, write, smile, and create in defiance of Islamist extremists, that they will continue to smash the barriers - the systemic injustice and oppression - that keep them divided and afraid.
Perhaps someday I'll join them :)