Yusuf Islam records charity song for Gaza: UNWRA

Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:06pm EST
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - U.S. singer Yusuf Islam released a charity song on Monday for which all proceeds will be donated to a United Nations agency helping refugees in Gaza.

Islam -- who changed his name from Cat Stevens when he became a Muslim -- will donate the money made from "The Day the World Gets Round" to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and Save the Children to help families in the Gaza Strip, UNRWA said in a statement.

The song, which was originally recorded by the late Beatle George Harrison, features Islam on vocals and Klaus Voorman, known to many as the fifth Beatle, on bass.

Yusuf said he hoped the music 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."

The song is available for download here .

Israel's three-week Israeli in Gaza killed 1,300 Palestinians, including 700 civilians.

The war, which began on December 27, tentatively ended on January 18 when Israel and Hamas began separate ceasefires. Israel says it launched the offensive because of rocket fire by Hamas into Israel, which has killed at least 21 Israelis since 2001.

UNRWA said it has provided over 50,000 civilians refuge in over 50 improvised shelters, mostly in its school buildings, and has been a focal point for aid supplies.

It is also playing a leading role in recovery response as well as providing on-going education, health relief and social services. This includes providing schooling for over 196,000 children and food aid to over 750,000 refugees.

(Editing by Dominic Evans)

<p>Singer Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, performs during the Live Earth concert at the soccer arena in Hamburg, northern Germany, July 7, 2007. REUTERS/Christian Charisius</p>