Two years after its release in 2012, R&B song, I Was Here, by Grammy Award-winning artist, Beyonce, has been adopted as the name for a charitable campaign initiated by a group of Iraqi youngsters.
According to Al-Arabiya News, the song, lyrics of which which go as, “I just want them to know… That I gave my all did my best,” inspired Mohammad Huzaifa Muluki and Muna Abdel Halim, from the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, to start a humanitarian group alongside three other friends. The campaign focuses its operation in three different areas, the first one being humanitarian operations, the second revolves around using its time to service-type tasks and the third one focuses on technical work. The campaign is also devoted to rehabilitating archeological sites and spotlighting arts, culture and the history of the ancient land.
Due to their humanitarian efforts the group has also been able to help some of the handicapped people. One notable instance was when they provided a wheelchair to a child who had been forced to drop out of school because of his disability. “It was quite a happy day, the child returned to school and he could not believe it,” Muluki told the news website al-Monitor.
Their other achievements include the cleaning and reopening of Mustansiriya Madrasah, a famous l school in Baghdad which was founded in 1233.
Beyonce also performed the song live at the United Nations General Assembly on the World Humanitarian Day to an overwhelming response by the delegates and office bearers in attendance.
So far the campaigners have not been affected by the emergence of the Islamic State (previously known as ISIS) which is in control of a large portion of Iraq and Syria.
The lyrics of the song were penned down by Diane Warren and were co-prodeuced by Ryan Tedder, Brent Kutzle, Beyonce and Kuk Harell was part of the singer’s fourth studio album titled, 4.
In an interview with Reuters, Diane Warren disclosed that the song was in part motivated by the events of September 11, 2001.
Speaking to Al-Arabiya News, Mohammad Huzaifa Muluki termed the lyrics to the song as “so powerful, so life-changing”. “Every day we see and hear images and stories of pain and suffering in our own neighborhoods and in countries far away. But we also find acts of kindness, great and small,” he said.
He further added that the aim of his campaign was to instil the idea of working for a greater good in the hearts of the people using the lyrics of the song which say “do something good somewhere for someone,” as a reference.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2014.
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