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The Cultural Majlis of Hanif Hassan Al Qassim hosted renowned artist Yusuf Islam, also known as Cat Stevens, to an online live discussion to give insight on embracing positive life changes.

The British singer-songwriter, who transformed his own life in the public eye, gave practical advice on searching for meaning within today’s exceptional circumstances and how to live through the ongoing pandemic with a sense of responsibility and cooperation.

Al Qassim, a member of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, said they were delighted to host his good friend Islam, who is known internationally for his contributions to both music and to humanitarian causes.

“This session gave each one of us a sense of responsibility to spread hope in our surroundings and in the world,” said Al Qassim.

Islam touched upon several topics, such as how the pandemic revealed to us how connected we are as individuals, societies and countries. He also pointed to several positive revelations, such as a decline in the intensity of consumerism, the revival of our homes and more time spent with families, practicing hobbies and working on deferred projects.

He stressed that during this time, we have the responsibility to not only to follow health precautions, but also come together to overcome this difficult stage with resolve and a positive spirit.

With the approach of the month of Ramadan, Islam suggested that giving should not be limited to helping those in need, but to sharing knowledge in similar meetings and contributing to the enrichment of humanity so that it can emerge better than it was before the crisis.

He also hoped that any positive changes in our behaviours and lifestyles during this pandemic would not be temporary, but that it can extend beyond this period.