Mama I love you 6:230:00 / 6:23
Released in 2019 the song 'Mama I love you' was written in response to the image of Alan Kurdi, a young 2-year-old boy who had been washed ashore near the coastal town of Bodrum, 2015.
The war in Syria had been going on for more than 5 years. Allen, his 5 year old brother, mother and family had set off for the Greek Island Kos in an attempt to leave the difficulties of refugee life in Turkey. Within minutes of pushing off, a wave capsized their inflatable vessel. The mother and both her sons drowned.
A few hours later, Nilufer Demir of the Dogan News Agency, came upon Alan, his face turned to one side and bottom elevated as if he were just asleep. “There was nothing left to do for him. There was nothing left to bring him back to life,” she said. So Demir raised her camera. "I thought, This is the only way I can express the scream of his silent body."
The image became the defining photograph of an ongoing war that had by then killed some 220,000 people. Not taken in Syria, a country that the world preferred to ignore, but on the doorstep of Europe, where its refugees were heading. Dressed for travel, Alan lay between one world and another.
In the song I have tried to find the voice of a youngster in search of his mother, confronted with his surroundings and the uncertainty of passing over from life into death and what that could be like.
The experience of writing this song was surreal and intuitive. It feels like a song that is greater than me and moves me every time I sing it. My hope is that it inspires people to seek peace, to find compassion and love for every soul, young and old, no matter the differences between us because what is common for all of us is the love and the longing we have as infants for our mothers. This is what it is to be vulnerable. Knowing this I believe we have the capacity to give. Give love and comfort, give our time and attention to others when they need it, because we know deep down what a profound difference it can make.
The internationally shared image of Alan was a wake-up call to the world, signaling a refugee crisis of epic proportions affecting everyone.
Abdullah and Tima, Alan’s father and aunty, have since been inspired to provide aid for children living in the refugee camps. They have created the Kurdi Foundation in the hopes that other families need not suffer the same tragedy in honour of Abdullah’s two sons, Alan and Ghalib, and his wife, Rehanna
DOnating to the Kurdi Foundation
There are over 20 million refugees in the world, and more than half of them are under the age of 18.
Visit the KURDI FOUNDATION site to see how donating can make a difference and provide hope for a child in need.