Mosaic Ambassador Yusuf Islam recently announced a campaign to help Syrian child refugees with a new single and a special gig in London later this month. He has recorded new song “He Was Alone” to help the estimated 10,000 children who have been orphaned or abandoned in the war-torn country. As a mentoring initiative helping young people from disadvantaged communities around the UK, we needed to know more, and so we asked our Ambassador to elaborate.
What is this campaign about and why are you doing it now?
I specifically wanted to do this in Ramadan to reinforce the message in this holy month of reflection and spirituality that we have a responsibility to care for one another and not get desensitised by statistics. I visited Turkey recently to see the refugee camps for myself and I was so overwhelmed by what I saw. No matter how many times you see it on television, it’s nothing compared to bearing witness with your own eyes. People had lost everything. I was taken to see some art work the children had done and it was heart-breaking to see how they felt, depicted in colouring pencils and crayon. No child, no human, should go through that. I have children and grandchildren myself and it is tragic to know that people are losing their family members every day. So having seen it myself, I couldn’t just go home and do nothing, so we decided to do this campaign and make it public.
The tag #HeWasAlone was inspired by the Pope’s visit to Lesbos. He said ‘you are not alone’ and that really struck me. It made me think about things on a more personal level. I didn’t want to focus on big numbers, I wanted to encourage people to look at the faces of those in their own family and think ‘this could be us’. What is happening in Syria, happened in the Balkans, and happens in all cases of war and natural disasters around the world: after a while it just turned into a series of numbers and names get lost. But we aren’t numbers, none of us are. We are God’s creation with hopes, dreams and love to give and however long we have in this life should be spent doing good and spreading peace.
You can find out more through this link.