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Yusuf announces plans for new single and concert to help Syrian child refugees
(News: 02-06-2016 )

 

 

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New campaign: Yusef, formerly known as Cat Stevens, has launched a Syrian refugee campaign David Fisher/Rex/Shutterstock

Yusuf, the singer formerly known as Cat Stevens, today launched a campaign to help Syrian child refugees with a new single and a special gig in London later this month.

The 67-year-old songwriter said it was “difficult to stand by and watch this tragedy” caused by the ongoing civil war.

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.

He also announced he will play a charity show at Central Hall in Westminster on June 14.

 

He said: “While the world faces incomprehensible numbers and statistics created by the refugee crisis the tragedy and story of a single soul gets missed. It was difficult to stand by just watching this tragedy without trying to do something.

"I simply decided to help humanise the narrative and lend my voice to the call for keeping hearts and doors open to every refugee, especially youngsters, who have lost what future they might have once hoped for.”

His charity Small Kindness will coordinate with other charities including Save The Children and Penny Appeal to raise funds for victims.

The campaign will be called You Are Not Alone after a quote by Pope Francis on his recent visit to a refugee camp in Greece.

It will be backed by stars including Ricky Gervais, Steve McQueen, Pete Townshend, Naomie Harris, Naomi Campbell, Bob Geldof, Ben Elton, Blondie, Omid Djalili, Emma Thompson and Queen.

Yusuf was inspired to share the song and start the campaign after visiting a refugee camp at Gaziantep on the border of Turkey and Syria in April.

He said: “The song is a small effort to try to take people’s attention away from the crime of reductionism, where human lives become numbers and statistics, and refocus on the plight of a single young soul who never had a chance to live and play in his own home.”

People can help the campaign by using the hashtag #youarenotalone on social media. Tickets for the gig will go on sale tomorrow at 10am from ticketmaster.co.uk. Full details will be made available from smallkindness.org.uk from tomorrow.