Singer Sami Yusuf And WFP Join In Support For Drought-Stricken Horn Of Africa

Published on 15 December 2011

Renowned recording artist Sami Yusuf is to donate the proceeds of a new single to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in support of humanitarian operations in the drought-hit Horn of Africa.

DUBAI-- Yusuf has just finalized the recording of his song, ‘Forgotten Promises’, for release in the coming few days as part of a campaign to raise awareness among the public about hunger in Somalia and the surrounding region. The campaign, ‘LiveFeed’, also aims to raise funds to sustain and scale-up relief efforts in the area, struck by the worst drought in 60 years.

The UK-based singer, song-writer, composer and UN Celebrity Partner for WFP will visit Dubai for the first time in the beginning of next year to perform his new song and some of his hits for the cause. The exact date and venue of the concert will be soon revealed to the public. ETM International, Yusuf’s production company, is excited about the impact of the campaign.

 “Sami Yusuf put all his talent and heart in this song; this is undoubtedly one of his best pieces of work,” said Faryal Shafi from ETM. “Forgotten Promises is a universal call for solidarity and our hope is to engage the widest possible audience in this drive. The song will speak for itself and we can’t wait to reveal it to the public.”

Held in association with the UAE Red Crescent Authority, the initiative will be rolled out later this month through the ‘LiveFeed’ campaign developed by international advertising firm JWT and sponsored by UAE-based conglomerate Al Aroud Group. ‘LiveFeed’ will be backed by a dedicated website – – aimed at engaging UAE residents and the Middle East online community in the fight against hunger.

“We have always been a great supporter of WFP and have contributed to their efficient and well-organized programme, dedicated to helping the needy all around the world,” said CEO of Al Aroud Group and Rus-Aviation Saleh Al-Aroud. “I encourage everyone to give a helping hand for such a good cause.”

The song, which combines English, Arabic and Swahili lyrics, will be sold both online and in music stores across the Middle East. Buyers will be able to contribute to the cause by simply downloading the song, purchasing the album or making a donation online through As little as 50 cents can enable WFP to feed a person in the Horn of Africa for one day.

“Although the tragedy hitting Somalia and its neighbouring countries has been highlighted by the media over the last three months, the humanitarian needs remain colossal. We just can’t let them down,” said Ashraf Hamouda, WFP’s Head of Partnership & Business Development for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf. “Sami Yusuf’s enthusiasm to support this cause personally as well as engaging his fans and followers is a unique chance to mobilize and inspire the public,” he said.

Drought in the Horn of Africa, coupled with conflict in Somalia, has affected over 13 million people. WFP is supporting food operations in five countries in the region; Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda.
In Somalia, where famine was declared in six areas in the south of the country, WFP reached 1.2 million people last month and is scaling up to reach 700,000 throughout the country in the coming months.

Since July, WFP has reached over 7.9 million people with direct food assistance in the Horn of Africa.

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About Sami Yusuf:

Endowed with a strong cultural affiliation to music and having studied music with several renowned composers, including those from one of the world's most prestigious music institutes – the Royal Academy of Music in London, Sami learned to play several musical instruments at a very young age. His groundbreaking debut ‘Al-Muallim’ sold over 3 million copies. It was then succeeded by his second release -- the highly acclaimed, ‘My Ummah’ which sold well over 4 million copies. Sami has headlined the CNN, BBC, ABC, Al Jazeerah and every mainstream channel in the Arab world and Turkey. He has been hailed by Time magazine as “Islam's biggest Rock Star” and “The most famous British Muslim in the World” by The Guardian. He is the first and the youngest Muslim recipient of the honorary Doctor of Letters award by the University of Roehampton in recognition to his extraordinary contribution to music.

Sami has played across four continents, selling out prestigious venues such as Wembley Arena in London, Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and The Velodrome in Cape Town, South Africa and has recently made history by becoming the First International artist to perform in post-revolution Egypt. His most notable show saw a staggering 250,000 people pack Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey.

Sami is one of the UK's biggest exports in the last decade. In the course of 7 years, he has masterfully navigated through unchartered waters – he has won over the hearts and minds of millions from across the Middle East, Europe, North America and North Africa. His compass, in principle, has been his self-coined genre – Spiritique. Manifested both musically and philosophically in his third album, Wherever You Are, Spiritique is a product of Sami’s identity. Sami is a passionate advocate of unity and is boldly committed to cross-cultural appreciation through promotion of universal values and celebration of the human spirit.

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