17 November, 2011

Tomorrow ~ Bokra: Quincy Jones does it again

Children, Jones and Akkad in Bokra
In 1984 to 1985, in Ethiopia - due to record low rainfall and the then ongoing civil war in the country, an estimated one million people died of hunger due to the devastating famine there. And millions more were made destitute. Then: Bob Geldof, Quincy Jones and several musicians came up with the masterpiece: 'We Are The World' - to assist with the famine and the extreme suffering in Ethiopia. 'We Are The World' became, worldwide, one of the all-time best selling singles ever released. And now, for the people of the Middle East, children in particular - there has just been released, a similar, charity aimed song. A few days ago, the legendary American composer-conductor-musician, Quincy Jones - teamed up with producer-director Malek Akkad, RedOne and others - and was again involved, through music, in making a positive difference to people. This time, the Bokra initiative is aiming to raise funds for humanitarian, cultural and educational projects around the Middle East.

Bilfageeh? No. Ahmad Al Jumairi 
On the night of the 11th of November at 11.11 PM, Tomorrow/Bokra (أغنية بكرا) was premiered and released from Dubai. Filmed in Morocco and Qatar, it reportedly involved and brought together 24 Arab music stars from 16 countries - who freely volunteered, including: Magda Al Roumi, Kadhim Al Saaher, Souad Massi, Sherine Abdel Wahab and Tamer Hosny. It is said that music engages people’s attention more comprehensively than almost anything else: scans show that when people listen to music, virtually every area of their brain becomes more active. Very hopefully, Tomorrow/Bokra - a masterfully composed and put together, heart-throbbing, exhilarating and at the same time harmonious, soothing song and music video - will engage more people and draw very much needed attention and awareness to the plight of the millions of children and young people around the Arab world; and help them have a better, more meaningful future.

Abubakar Salim Bilfageeh
On the Bokra video, for a fleeting moment, the one and only Abubakar Salim Bilfageeh appears, but for some reason, we don't get to hear his magical voice. Is it Bilfageeh? No. It is the Bahrainy singer and composer Ahmad Al Jumairi, who uncannily resembles Bilfageeh. I was at first fooled into believing that it was Abubakar Salim who had somehow, at his old age, managed to appear on Bokra! Bilfageeh - still is the greatest and most popular singer and composer from the Arabian Peninsular. Many have tried to imitate or compete with him. None has succeeded. For over half a century, this phenomenal, superstar from Hadhramaut has dominated the music scene in Arabia, like no other. How wonderful it would have been if Bilfageeh, a Hadhrami and a Yemeni - had participated on Bokra. With his superb, one-of-a-kind voice - it would have been the equivalent of Ray Charles's appearance in 'We Are The World'. That aside, what does Bokra; what does tomorrow; what does the future hold for the people, the children in particular, of the Middle East?

Since the beginning of this year - around the Middle East, for freedom and justice - millions have risen, demonstrated and spoken up. And they are still doing so. Thousands have died. And many are still dying. Millions continue to suffer. As I said in January this year in relation to Tunisia: Revolutions are.......sweet. But, they are only sweeter if dreams are realized; and if they bring better changes; if the goals for what lives were lost for, are achieved....... Can and will (people's) elation continue for long? Will (people's) expectations be fulfilled? Can and will what they revolted for, be achieved? Only time will tell. Only tomorrow - bokra will tell. Very hopefully: Tomorrow comes another day; happy with us, to give us joy. Plant life with expectations, love and hope wherever we go.Tomorrow, days will bring us together in goodness and peace. Very hopefully: a better, much kinder, more humane and a just future will be achieved for People around the Middle East. Especially: for the Children.

+ Tomorrow ~ Bokra on YouTube: here and here
+ Tomorrow ~ Bokra Lyrics: here
+ Tomorrow ~ Bokra on: Google News

Postscript: after my first viewing of the Bokra video clip, I thought that Ahamad Al Jumairi was Bilfageeh. And I wrongly posted here as so. The mistake is no others, but mine. I do very much apologize for this mix up.