International Icons Sing For Flood Relief

November 15, 2010

In July 2010, devastating floods took the majority of Pakistan. These floods affected around 20 million people, mostly by the destruction of property, livelihood and infrastructure, which people are still trying to rebuild. Rebuild Pakistan and their lives.

The damage had been caused. Some of the most influential artists in Pakistan, such as Salman Ahmad and Atif Aslam, began to help raise awareness with the aid from International icons.

“Open Your Eyes” – Salman Ahmad, Peter Gabriel and Alison Sudol

Open Your Eyes - Salman Ahmad & Peter GabrielPakistan’s ‘Rockstar’ Salman Ahmad had been back again with “Open Your Eyes”, featuring Englishman Peter Gabriel (of Genesis fame) and American Alison Sudol (recently nominated for a Grammy award for best upcoming artist).

Salman and his wife Dr. Samina launched this song on ITunes and other digital retailers. Each dollar from this download still goes to Pakistan’s flood relief through their charity organisation, Salman and Samina Global Wellness Initiative.

’20 million people are washed up by the flood, 20 million dreams are sinking in the mud.’

These powerful verses begin at the start of the video preview. Emotional pictures slide through our screens, giving us an insight to the lives crushed by the flood. This video is the most powerful of the lot. As cheesy as it sounds, open your eyes… for a good cause.

“We Will Rise Again” by Atif Aslam, Todd Shea and Lanny Cordola

This catchy acoustic number was sung by the Pakistani pop star Atif Aslam, Todd Shea, also accompanied by Lanny Cordola (of Giuffria, House Of Lords, and Magdallan fame).

It was released alongside smiling photos, and a video located in Charsadda and Swat in Pakistan featuring the local children as the musketeer’s strum away. The sight of children struck by poverty smiling to the sound of music is heart-warming. Unlike other flood relief videos, this one brings about a positive feeling. Not all hope is gone.

’You see it’s not the end…’
‘Abhi zindagi khatam hui nahi…’

A complete album is in process featuring various Pakistani and American artists.

“Aasmaan” by Hadiqa Kiani

Hadiqa Kiani had been away for almost six years. She has been the ultimate Pakistani diva to all the masses. After the floods, she returned with a song for flood relief named “Aasmaan”.

In collaboration with the Pakistan Army, Hadiqa made visits to the Multan Relief Camp, Multan, Muzaffarabad and other areas to help.

This song is sung in the gentile but poetic language of Urdu and features a short video, which never fails to display the powerful aftermath of the floods and what people have had to go through.

’Tell me where can I find my freedom?’
’Mujhe batha meree nijaat hai kahan?’

Forget the supposed wardrobe disasters. Hadiqa’ took part in environmental work and made a song in effort for those in need. That’s music. Hadiqa also joined an organisation called Superstars for Flood Relief, which aims to get Pakistani and International stars on board to help raise awareness. Other bands on board include Strings, Zeb and Haniya, Laal and Junaid Jamshed.

It strengthens the heart when you hear these songs, but also wakes you up to the grim reality of what people face everyday, especially as disasters strike. In the current harsh reality, the East and West are known for continuously contesting each other. But here, they both combine musical forces to spread peace and charity for those who are less fortunate than us.

What have you done for the flood victims?