In a show of solidarity with his homeland, Lebanese-British singer Mika will stream a live concert on September 19 to raise money for Lebanese charities aiding in the extensive rebuilding efforts following the tragic blast in Beirut earlier this month. Named “I Love Beirut”, this “very intimate show” is dedicated to the people of Beirut who are a symbol of “resilience and strength” in the wake of not only such a catastrophe but also on top of an economic collapse and global pandemic. “The terrible explosion in Beirut’s port killed hundreds, injured thousands and left many more homeless,” wrote Mika on Instagram. “I wanted to do something to help in any small way I can.”
Hinting at a few surprises in store, the BRIT Award-winning artist will be performing his top tracks live on YouTube with all ticket proceeds being split between Red Cross Lebanon and Save the Children Lebanon, both of which are providing emergency response relief on the ground. “Beirut has been through so much and the resilience and strength the Lebanese people is undeniable,” continued Mika. “It is the place of my birth, a part of me and will always be in my heart.”
This special online performance is just one of the various ways the Grace Kelly singer is giving back to his birthplace. Launching a GoFundMe fundraiser earlier this week, Mika is aiming to raise £100,000 (AED 482,247) for the aforementioned NGOs, encouraging his 1.3 followers to donate further if they can to support his disaster-torn country. Sharing a poignant letter describing the “severity of the current situation in Lebanon” and the personal impact it’s had on the Beirut-born musician, Mika paints a heartwrenching picture of his shell-shocked “brothers and sisters” that he “feels so close and yet so far away from”.
“Haunted by the desolation, I hear in my head the deafening noise of the two explosions that haunted the residents of Beirut,” penned Mika. “Forced with this chaos, I recall a line from the Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran: “one can only reach dawn by taking the path of night”. For some nights now, you have once again been sinking into the path of night. There are divisions, echoes of conflicts at your borders, corruption, the powerlessness of your leaders, the monetary crisis which has plunged your families into misery and then the surge of the coronavirus epidemic. The carefree Lebanese nature, the answer to dramas in the past, was replaced by anger and fear. I became more anxious each passing day, as if my wounds, the roots which I’d left behind at the age of only one and a half were finally catching up with me.”
Recalling memories of the Lebanese Civil War often recounted by his mother, Mika draws parallels between the explosions of the past and the present, asking for accountability for those responsible for “30 years of agony”. Yet, as Gibran said, dawn comes after darkness and Mika ended the heartfelt note with a glimmer of hope, promise, and faith in the Lebanese people to “rise up as you have always done before.” “Music will pour once again from your windows, people will dance on your terraces and perfumes will waft from your kitchens. I will be there.”
Tickets for Mika’s “I Love Beirut” virtual concert will be available from today, Monday August 24th via Ticketmaster for AED 48 per ticket with all funds going towards Red Cross Lebanon and Save the Children Lebanon.