Freedom Music is dedicated to helping children around the world. All proceeds from Tanja's lateast single 'Fragile' featuring the wonderful Iraqi musician Naseer Shamma, will go to the Tareek Al Zahuur Community (TACZ), helping children in Iraq. Read about how Tanja first became involved :
'Tomorrow's rain will wash the stains away. But something in our minds will always stay' (Fragile -Sting)
I’ve long been an admirer of artists like Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) and Sting, not only because I love their music but also because they have never lost touch with reality. Cat Stevens is well known for his charitable work and towards the end of the Balkans war, he founded Small Kindness. With my family from the Balkans, some of whom have seen the horror of war first hand, I was particularly appalled by the mass genocide in the 1990s and the charity struck a chord with me as it was one of the first, to start offering practical support in the area and is now dedicated to helping children from all around the world. So, when I first met with the renowned Iraqi musician and oud player Naseer Shamma and found out about his charity Tareek Al Zahuur Community (TACZ), dedicated to helping children in war torn Iraq, I was deeply moved to see if I could help in anyway.A few weeks ago Naseer and I met in Cairo, where he now lives, and spoke about the situation and how the proceeds of the album could be used.
Life for children in Iraq is precarious, to say the least, and the statistics are alarming. Tens of thousands of children are estimated to have lost parents, siblings and other family members and some 600,000 children have been displaced. Most families are still unable to return home and most children under five are unable to attend school.The Tareek Al Zahuur Community helps numerous children to regain some sense of normality by assisting with their basic needs, be that food, shelter or education. Also, in a country where healthcare is severely limited and extremely costly, trying to ensure that children receive the medical treatment they need is high on their agenda. Iraqi children have lived through horrific circumstances and the long term psychological impact on them is dreadful, with many suffering from Post Traumatic Stress and other psychological disorders.TACZ provides financial support so that children can receive the long term care they need, to try and help them overcome their horrendous experiences. Even children suffering from life threatening conditions are often unable to obtain medical care and one of the one the most critical projects for TACZ is to help children suffering from serious heart problems. Every month the charity flies out 20 children to India, where they receive treatment from one of India’s most famous cardiovascular surgeons, Professor Devi Prasad Shetty. To date, around 100 children have been helped and the majority have returned home healthy and happy. The charity aims to treat some 2,000 children within the immediate future, but with costs averaging 7000.00 US dollars per child, every penny is needed to reach this goal.
It was really insightful talking to Naseer. When things happen far away, it’s so easy for us to become emotionally detached and complacent. This is the sentiment behind my song 'The Other Side of the World' written about children in dire need and is my small contribution towards raising awareness. I’ve always despised the dismissive phrase 'All is fair in Love and War', try explaining this to the children of Iraq and given that war is so unfair surely it is incumbent upon us to deal with its aftermath: 'Tomorrow's rain will wash the stains away But something in our minds will always stay' (Fragile - Sting). So,by supporting the Tareek Al Zahuur Community we can help alleviate the pain of at least a few of Iraqi children and a generation that knew war can at least start to enjoy peace.