Entertainment

Yusuf Islam records song for children of Gaza

Calling it "a song for peace," musician Yusuf Islam has released a version of George Harrison's The Day the World Gets 'Round as a fund-raiser for children in Gaza.
Yusuf Islam has recorded a George Harrison song as a fundraiser for the children of Gaza. ((Roland Magunia/AFP/Getty Images))
Calling it "a song for peace," musician Yusuf Islam has released a version of George Harrison's The Day the World Gets 'Round as a fundraiser for children in Gaza.

Yusuf, who was known as Cat Stevens in the 1970s, made the song available online on Monday in an effort to raise money for Save the Children and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for their work in Gaza.

"This song represents for me the great spirit of George Harrison," he said in a statement on his website.

"I hope this song will help remind people of the immense legacy of love, peace and happiness we can share when we get round to looking at mankind's futile wars and prejudices, and start to change our foolish ways."

About 280 children died and hundreds more are homeless after the three-week Israeli offensive in Gaza.

Yusuf, who is known by his first name only, credited Harrison with sparking the involvement of pop singers in charitable causes with his Concert for Bangladesh.

Yusuf worked with German bassist and former Beatles collaborator Klaus Voorman to record The Day the World Gets 'Round, which he described as a "plea for peace and understanding."

A UNRWA spokesman said the song was a "message of hope at a time when Gaza so badly needs it."

A portrait of Cat Stevens, now Yusuf Islam, in the 1970s. ((Hulton Archive/Getty Images))
As Cat Stevens, the British-born singer sold 60 million albums. He converted to Islam in 1977 and distanced himself from popular music.

He didn't perform in public again until the late 1990s, but has been in the spotlight more frequently in the last few years, often in association with charitable causes.

His latest album, An Other Cup, was recorded in 2006.

Yusuf was barred from entering the U.S. in 2004 and has been prevented from travelling to Israel, which claims he gave money to charity groups linked to Islamic militants. He has denied the accusation.

 

With files from the Associated Press

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