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Quincy Jones launches Bokra Arts Programme

The producer’s new initiative will aim to further arts education in the Arab world


Continuing the success of the Tomorrow-Bokra project — which brought 24 musicians from the Arab world together to record a charity single under the watchful eye of legendary producer Quincy Jones — Bokra, the documentary feature film will release in 2013, it was announced on Sunday.

The film will reveal the success story of the project, going behind the scenes showing how the vision began and the making of the song, music video and backstage gossip from the Arab stars.

Tomorrow-Bokra — the album — launched last November.

Details about both the way funds are being spent and the film were announced at a press conference at Dubai’s Capital Club by Jones himself.

Funds raised through the project are now being distributed to global aid agencies to help projects for education and the arts across the Arab world, he said.

Jones teamed up with locally-based social entrepreneur Badr Jafar to launch the project more than 18 months ago. Most famous for his work producing some of Michael Jackson’s biggest selling albums, the producer said: “It is a fantastic feeling to be back in the UAE one year on from the launch of this song.

“However the real success starts now, with the rolling out of the first phase of the Bokra Arts Programme 2013, which is set to have a lasting impact on many young lives across the Middle East.”

Under the Bokra Arts Programme, Save the Children will distribute the money, partnering with two local institutions in the West Bank to launch a two-year programme to train teachers. The goal in 24 months is to train more than 408 teachers and parents and bring arts into 36 preschools for the benefit of around 1,440 children.

Artists involved in the single include Ahmad Al Jumeiri, Latifa, Marwan Khoury, Salah Al Zadjali, Souad Massi, Tamer Hosni, Waed, Saber Al Rebai, Hasna Zalagh, Hani Mitwasi and Fayez Al Saeed among others.

American singer Akon also lent his vocals to the single which was recorded in Rabat, Morocco and Doha, Qatar.