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Press Release 3/26/03


Yusuf Islam joins the growing chorus of international artists calling for peace with his new version of ‘Peace Train’. He will make a personal appearance at The Burjuman Centre (in Dubai) with South African vocal artist Zain Bikha, who will premiere a video clip of his song for universal peace entitled ‘Our World’ .

Yusuf Islam, celebrated British Muslim humanitarian activist and one of the world’s most famous converts to Islam, previously known as Cat Stevens, has publicly joined the growing international peace movement calling for an end to war in Iraq by recording a new version of multi-platinum 1970s hit, ‘Peace Train’. Mr. Islam will be making a personal appearance with South African vocal artist Zain Bikha on Thursday evening, March 27th at Burjuman Centre in Dubai to premiere the video clip of Zain Bikha’s haunting and lyrical call for universal peace, ‘Our World’, which is released under Yusuf Islam’s Mountain of Light label, recently launched in the Middle East. At the same time, audiences will be treated to an exclusive showing of a video clip of the new version of ‘Peace Train’ recently recorded in South Africa. Proceeds from the sale of both ‘Peace Train’ and ‘Our World’ will be distributed to Iraqi children victimized by the invasion through the U.K.-based and U.N.-registered Small Kindness charity organisation.

Yusuf Islam stressed that the new version of ‘Peace Train’ did not signal the comeback of Cat Stevens. "I wrote ‘Peace Train’ to protest another tragic war that filled my generation with sadness and uncertainty," he said. "It seems to me that ‘Peace Train’ is more relevant than ever." The idea to record a new version of the multi-million selling original song, which has been listed by EMI as one of the most played recordings in record industry history, came in response to an invitation to participate in ‘One Big No’, a concert organised in London to protest the war against Iraq featuring George Michael, David Bowie, Neil Young, Ronan Keating, Yoko Ono, Elton John, Michael Moore and Coldplay, among many other artists against the war. Yusuf Islam re-arranged ‘Peace Train’ using South African backing singers in place of musical instruments and sent a videotape of the performance recorded live at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg prefaced by a message of solidarity. The new version of ‘Peace Train’ is to be included in, ‘War Child', a compilation album of major international artists against the war to be released in April.

The ‘Our World’ album and all Mountain of Light books and recordings are available in Magrudy’s, Dubai Library Distributors, and Dar Al-Balagh bookstores, and other outlets throughout the country. ‘Peace Train’ will be released in April as a CD with ‘Angel of War', a second anti-war song composed by Yusuf Islam.

Yusuf Islam’s new version of ‘Peace Train’ can be down-loaded from and contributions for the children of Iraq can be made through the website.




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