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YouTube singer to croon for Kashmir

India, December 5, 2009

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Muzaffar Raina

The Calcutta Telegraph
December, 2009

Srinagar - When world leaders meet in Copenhagen next week to find ways to save the planet, a crooner from the West will sing in Kashmir to Say It’s Possible.

YouTube sensation Terra Naomi will sing for the Valley’s battered environment in what would probably be the first musical show by a westerner in Kashmir.

The December 7 concert, coinciding with the Copenhagen summit on climate change, will be held on the banks of the Dal Lake, now in the throes of a silent death from pollution.

“I am excited about the concert and it is my first visit to Kashmir,” Terra, whose song was inspired by Nobel laureate Al Gore’s climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth, said from Delhi.

“I don’t know if it is the first concert there by anybody from our part of the world, but I am honoured if that is the case,” added the singer who shot to fame through a performance of the song on the video-sharing website.

Tour operator Nazir Bakshi, who has liaised for many Bollywood films shot in the Valley, confirmed it would be the first. “It will be the first concert by a westerner in Kashmir, although you have had Asian and Egyptian singers coming to Kashmir over the years.”

The concert, organised by non-profit agency Mercy Corps, is aimed at creating awareness about the effects of climate change in Kashmir and to press for a cut in global greenhouse gas emissions.

“Kashmir is the epicentre of climatic changes, the reason we have chosen it. Glaciers are melting fast and winters are warm,” said Usman Ahmad, one of the organisers of Mercy Corps in the state.

On Monday, in the Danish capital, world leaders, too, will kick-start talks on how to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions to save the rapidly warming earth. In the Valley, Terra will take the stage dressed in Kashmiri attire, Usman said. “The song (Say It’s Possible) has been translated into Kashmiri. While Terra will sing in English, Kashmiri artistes will sing a Kashmiri version of the song.”

Terra said Mercy Corps contacted her and asked her to raise awareness about climate change. “They wanted it (the concert) to coincide with the Copenhagen summit,” the singer-songwriter added. “I have heard about Kashmir, its beautiful lakes and mountains. It’s sad its environment is suffering and I want to raise awareness about this place in the world.”

The concert may be cancelled if the condition of Hurriyat leader Fazal Haq Qureshi, who was attacked on Friday, worsens, the organisers said on Saturday.