Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi will perform as part of the benefit concert One World Together at Home.
He is the only Arab musician in a star-studded bill, featuring Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga and Coldplay's Chris Martin.
The six hour event, which will be streamed live from 10pm UAE time on Saturday, April 18, aims to raise awareness and celebrate healthcare workers on the frontline in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic. A condensed two hour version of the event will be streamed from 4am UAE time on Sunday, April 19.
Each performer in the concert is being filmed separately, in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Al Jassmi is scheduled to perform between 10pm and 12am. All performances will be broadcast live on Dubai TV and streamed on the event’s website and social media accounts, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
A musical message of hope
In a statement announcing his participation, Al Jassmi said he was proud to represent the Arab world in this global expression of solidarity.
“We will strive to spread awareness, smiles and spread confidence in a better future,” he said. “This will be done through the values of friendship, partnership and taking the responsibility to overcome difficulties and challenges with determination, persistence and the positivity to conquer the impossible.”
As for his set list, Al Jassmi confirmed that he will perform some of his biggest hits, as well as his new song, Benaady.
Translated as “we shall overcome”, it is a stirring new single which calls for resilience in the face of the pandemic. With lyrics by Emirati poet Anwar Al Mashiri and music by Kuwaiti composer Fahad Al Nasser, the song has been viewed more than one million times since it was released on YouTube on April 3.
Also set to appear with Al Jassmi in the online broadcast are two Emirati doctors, who will share their experiences in combatting the pandemic.
The first is Ajlan Al Zaki from Stanford University's hospital in California, followed by obstetrician and gynaecologist Aisha Al Mundhiri from the Claude Bernard University Hospital in Paris.
An artist for the big moment
Al Jassmi is no stranger to performing at grand occasions.
In 2018, he was the first Arab artist to perform at the Vatican's annual
Christmas concert. He followed it up a year later by taking part in the opening ceremony of the AFC Asian Cup at Zayed Sports City Stadium and the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi. He was part of an A-list cast of singers, including Luis Fonsi, Avril Lavigne, Assala Nasri and Tamer Hosny, who
performed the ceremony's official anthem Right Where I Am Supposed to Be.
Speaking to The National on the eve of his Special Olympic performance, he explained that representing the UAE and the wider Arab world through his art has been the most satisfying aspect of his near 20-year career.
“I feel proud to be doing this,” he says. “Not just as an Emirati singer, but as a Khaleeji and an Arab. It is a privilege to show people our country and culture.”