Dubai: Tomorrow 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, 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 more than 30 million viewers globally, topping the Virgin top-ten charts in the Arab world for six weeks. Philanthropic funds raised through the global distribution of the single helped finance educational programmes in music, arts and culture for disadvantaged children across the Arab world.
For a brighter and more sustainable tomorrow
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: “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 and North Africa, to sing in one voice for a better tomorrow. The single was jointly produced with my beloved brothers Badr Jafar and RedOne, as well as our co-ep Taymoor Marmarchi. People gave their whole heart to this project and 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 and all generations to come!”
Unique crypto art
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, said: “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.”
For a noble cause
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 more than 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 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 more than 2.7 million refugees across the region, according to UNHCR’s Global Appeal 2020-2021, the organisation’s aid mechanisms are a vital lifeline.