Canadian Artist Mustafa Organizes Sold-Out Benefit Concert For Gaza and Sudan
Fellow Canadian artists Daniel Caesar and Charlotte Day Wilson plus comedian Ramy Youssef and Stormzy, Clairo and 070 Shake will all perform on Jan. 4 at the New Jersey Artists For Aid concert, with all proceeds going to Human Concern International.
Toronto singer-songwriter and poet Mustafa is organizing a benefit concert for Gaza and Sudan. Canadian artists like Charlotte Day Wilson and Daniel Caesar will perform alongside big names including Clairo, Stormzy, 070 Shake, as well as comedian Ramy Youssef and Palestinian writer Mohammed El-Kurd.
The show, called Artists For Aid, will take place at the Newark Symphony Hall in New Jersey on January 4. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to Human Concern International, a Canadian aid organization.
Mustafa had previously urged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to call for a ceasefire via an open letter. Recalling when the artist served in Trudeau’s youth council ten years ago, Mustafa called on his “old acquaintance” to “use the same tongue that defended Israel & condemned Hamas to defy this active genocide and imprisonment that is levelling Gaza, that is burying & disfiguring children and women.”
"A century from now, when they contemplate your legacy Prime Minister, will you be recalled as a custodian of this unforgivable genocide, this ethnic cleansing, this stolen land?" Mustafa wrote.
Other high-profile artists like Drake have also called for a ceasefire via the open letter on artistsforceasefire.org, while over six thousand musicians have called for a ceasefire and a just peace via Musicians For Palestine. (On Dec. 12, Trudeau called for “efforts towards a sustainable ceasefire.”)
Mustafa recently collaborated with Wilson and Caesar for a performance of Neil Young's "Old Man" at Caesar's October Scotiabank Arena concert in Toronto. Now, the "Name of God" singer is tapping his fellow Canadians for a star-studded night of performers across forms, genres and nationalities, to raise money for aid in Gaza and Sudan.
Here’s Mustafa’s full message about the event:
100% of proceeds will go to Human Concern International, a legacy organization I've been a friend to for a decade — they provide humanitarian aid to both Gaza and Sudan.
We worked tirelessly to bring this to you, but our fatigue is not even a splinter of what we'll be singing for.
In the last few years I visited both my homeland, Sudan, & Palestine. My visit to both had a principal intention, to connect with artist communities, with young organizers — for parallels of sorrow and hope and faith.
The violence in both nations seized the dream.
Here it is revived for me in some way. The intention remains, on this evening we give our voices to make room for theirs.
I want to thank each artist performing from the deepest part of me, for your time and effort. Each of you did not hesitate when asked. We'll remember.
Israel’s assault on Gaza during the Israel-Hamas war has killed nearly 20,000 people since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, which killed roughly 1,200 people. The 41-kilometre Gaza Strip, which has been under Israeli blockade since 2007, currently faces continuous bombing and a siege preventing civilians from accessing health care and aid. “In my twenty years with UNICEF, traveling from one humanitarian crisis to the next – from famines to floods and war zones to refugee camps – I’ve simply never seen such devastation and despair as is happening in Gaza,” says UNICEF spokesperson James Elder.
In Sudan, a civil war raging between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces since April has killed over twelve thousand, Al Jazeera reports, with over six million displaced. Thousands are currently being displaced for the second time this year, as the war reaches Sudan’s second-biggest city, Wad Madani. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has described the humanitarian crisis in Sudan as “unimaginable.”
Tickets for the Artists For Aid event are already sold out, but donations are still being taken on the ticket site.