|VIDEO: 5 May 2011 - Newly appointed UNICEF Iraq Ambassador and renowned singer Kadhum Al-Sahir's new song, 'Together for Children', calls on all segments of Iraqi society to help end hardships faced by the country's youth.|
BAGHDAD, 9 May 2011 - UNICEF announced today the appointment of renowned Iraqi singer, Kadhum Al-Sahir, as its Ambassador to Iraq. Making his first visit to Iraq in 14 years for the occasion, Mr. Al-Sahir launched his new song “Together for Children”, calling on all segments of Iraqi society to come together to turn the ongoing hardships faced by Iraq’s children into opportunities for them.
“UNICEF is very proud to welcome Kadhum Al-Sahir back to Iraq as its Ambassador for Iraq’s children,” said UNICEF Representative to Iraq, Mr. Sikander Khan. “Khadum’s commitment to use his time, energy, and talents to shine a spotlight on the needs of Iraq’s children is extraordinary and will contribute to improving their lives. UNICEF is extremely grateful for his devotion and compassion to the children of Iraq.”
Mr. Al-Sahir’s music over the past 25 years has led to his immense popularity within Iraq, across the Middle East and North Africa and globally. His humanitarian work started in 1998 when he performed “Tathakkar” (Remember), a song about Iraqi children stranded in conflict, at benefit concerts in the Royal Albert Hall in the United Kingdom. “Tathakkar” received a UNICEF award for making an outstanding contribution to improve the lives of children in need.
“It has been a long and difficult journey for Iraq’s children over the past few decades” said Mr. Al-Sahir. “I am deeply touched and honored to return to Iraq today as UNICEF’s Ambassador and will do everything possible to protect the rights and improve the well-being of Iraq’s children.”
As UNICEF’s Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Al-Sahir will focus on raising awareness and mobilizing support to respond to the needs of the most deprived and vulnerable children across the country, in order to build an equitable society where all 15 million of Iraq’s children have equal opportunities to realize their full potential. Highlighting the multiple issues these children face will be at the core of his future engagement.
“Hundreds of thousands of children across Iraq today are cruelly suffering from having very few to none of the services they need to grow up healthy and happy,” Al-Sahir said. “Action must be urgently taken to deliver the necessary health care, nutrition, schooling, safe water, adequate sanitation and protection they need so they can be lifted up from the bottom of Iraqi society and become a driving force for Iraq’s future development and prosperity.”
Kadhum Al-Sahir was born in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in 1957. He has received many awards and honours, including first class accolades from the Secretary General of the Arab League, the Medal of Ambassador of Iraqi song, the Medal of Creativity by the Union of Iraqi artists, the BBC Radio 3 World Music Award for the Middle East and North Africa, and The Best Arab Male Singer Award at the 2010 Jordan Awards, among others. Mr. Al-Sahir will also soon participate with many other prominent Arabic and international singers to record a new song entitled “Tomorrow”.
Mr. Al-Sahir is UNICEF’s first ever Ambassador to Iraq.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org
For more information, please contact:
Jaya Murthy, UNICEF Iraq
+962 79 692 6190
Salam Abdulmunem, UNICEF Iraq