Dubai, UAE – Today marks the 10th anniversary of the release of the hit Arabic charity single, ‘TOMORROW/BOKRA,’ jointly produced by multi-Grammy Award winning producer, Quincy Jones and Emirati social entrepreneur Badr Jafar. To commemorate the special anniversary, the architects behind the inspirational project have announced a revival and relaunch of the Tomorrow/Bokra production. In the coming months, the charity anthem will be relaunched with new artist collaborations, and digital and live experiences.
The Tomorrow/Bokra song was released on November 11, 2011 (11/11/11), a date chosen to highlight the ‘Oneness’ of the song and the hope that it would become a beacon of solidarity across the region. It brought together 24 leading artists from across the Middle East and North Africa, singing for a better future during a turbulent time in the region. Its powerful message reached over 30 million viewers globally, topping the Virgin top ten charts in the Arab world for 6 weeks. Philanthropic funds raised through the global distribution of the single helped finance educational programs in music, arts, and culture for disadvantaged children across the Arab world.
A decade later, Tomorrow/Bokra’s message of unity continues to resonate across the region and the world. As the region battles old and emerging challenges, many further exacerbated by the pandemic, there is a mounting need to pave the way for a brighter and more sustainable tomorrow for the region’s youth.
Quincy Jones remarked, “Today marks the 10-year anniversary of 11.11.11 - A very special day that brought together 24 Arab Artists from 16 nations across the Middle East & North Africa, to sing with one voice for a better tomorrow. The single was jointly produced with my beloved brothers Badr Jafar & RedOne, as well as our co-ep Taymoor Marmarchi. People gave their whole heart to this project & it makes my soul smile to know that it was ALL about the kids, then and now. On top of that, my joint venture with Badr Jafar, Global Gumbo Group (G3), is now partnering with OneOf to use NFTs as a way to continue raising money for the cause! May we all strive for a better tomorrow, for our kids & all generations to come!”
Among several plans to mark the Tomorrow/Bokra anniversary is a partnership with the eco-conscious music NFT platform, OneOf. The partnership bridges the past and the future with unique crypto art inspired by the song.
Badr Jafar added, “Bokra was conceived from a trying era in the Arab region. We aimed at the time to promote the spirit of solidarity through the song, as music so often has the power to do. Today, we reinvigorate the spirit of Bokra, through the powers of philanthropy, music, culture and technology that unify humanity, and especially our youth, who are yearning to cultivate new opportunities in their pursuit of a prosperous and resilient future.”
Kadim Al Saher, renowned Iraqi singer and composer who adapted "Tomorrow/Bokra" from Jones' melody of the same name, shared, “Ten years later and the song Tomorrow-Bokra still has an iconic melody and beautiful message of hope, aspiration and uniting people from all over the world. It was an honour to work with the legendary music producer Quincy Jones and contribute to the music composition and participate on the charity anthem.”
The proceeds from the relaunch of the song will be donated to a number of leading humanitarian and development organisations. This includes the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to benefit critical humanitarian assistance to populations affected by conflict in the Middle East; reaching 1.6 million people with food and benefiting 3.3 million patients with healthcare in Yemen, helping over 15 million people access safe water and sanitation in Syria, and millions more affected or displaced by fighting during times of crisis in Iraq.
Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC, remarked, “The International Committee of the Red Cross works in conflict zones in the Middle East and around the world to alleviate human suffering and to protect life and dignity. In the face of enormous needs, support for humanitarian work is needed more than ever. So much can be achieved when people come together in the name of solidarity and humanity and we are grateful for the contribution of this project to further our work in the region.”
Proceeds will also support the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in aid of vulnerable, displaced communities across the region. With an estimated 11.7 million internally displaced people in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, and over 2.7 million refugees across the region, according to UNHCR’s Global Appeal 2020-2021, the organisation’s aid mechanisms are a vital lifeline.
Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR Senior Advisor and Representative in the Gulf Co-operation Council Area said, “I am grateful to all the artists who are showing their support for refugees and other displaced people. Solidarity with the displaced is needed now more than ever. The proceeds from this initiative will allow us to assist displaced people throughout the region, bringing help and hope for a better tomorrow.”
Additionally, the relaunch will support the Big Heart Foundation’s 'Lessen the Gap' campaign in aid of post-COVID humanitarian development work in the region. The campaign focuses on 4 sectors that were all heavily impacted by the pandemic: Education; Livelihoods; Healthcare; Protection.
Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of The Big Heart Foundation, said, “The Middle East and North Africa region, like the rest of the world, is tackling common yet complex developmental and humanitarian challenges that manifest in the form of vulnerable populations’ lack of access to vital resources, natural calamities, unrest, and more. These challenges have been further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are excited to be joining forces with the Tomorrow/Bokra team as we work to ‘Lessen the Gap’ and empower communities through the road to recovery and beyond.”
About the Global Gumbo Group
Quincy Jones, the multi-Grammy winning producer and multi-media entrepreneur, and Badr Jafar, an Emirati social entrepreneur, entered into a joint venture, The Global Gumbo Group, in 2011 to develop multi-media opportunities across all entertainment platforms including music, film, television, publishing and digital applications in the Middle East and North Africa. The company focus is producing live entertainment opportunities in the Middle East for Western artists in collaboration with renowned Middle East and North African artists. The Global Gumbo Group also look to nurture new Middle Eastern and North African talent, and acquire content from the region to introduce to the West.
About the International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organisation whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance. The ICRC also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the Geneva Conventions and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It directs and coordinates the International activities conducted by the Movement in armed conflicts and other situations of violence.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee because of conflict and persecution. We deliver life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, help safeguard fundamental human rights, and develop solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future.
About the Big Heart Foundation
The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), a philanthropic foundation officially established in May 2015, proceeded by various initiatives and campaigns launched by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs. The Foundation’s mandate is to protect and empower vulnerable children and their families in vulnerable situations across the world. Since then, TBHF has provided health, education, and emergency aid services – among others – to millions of people in need in more than 25 countries.
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© Press Release 2021
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