Late on Thursday night the first 163 of a planned 25,000 Syrian refugees arrived in Canada, and were greeted and given winter coats by prime minister Justin Trudeau.
The day after their arrival, a video of a choir singing one of the oldest songs in the Islamic culture, Tala’ al Badru ‘Alayna, surfaced on YouTube. In the video, a group of children aged 8-12 sing the song, with piano playing in the background.
A look at choir’s members shows diversity and multiculturalism, hailed by Canadians to be some of the most important values in the country, in addition to human rights.
Regarded as the first nasheed (Islamic religious song), Tala’ al-Badru Alayna. It’s an incredibly symbolic song, having been sung when Prophet Mohammed arrived in Medina after having fled his home in Mecca as a refugee in the year 622.
The lyrics roughly translate to this:
Oh the white moon rose over us
From the valley of Wada’
It is incumbent upon us to show gratitude
For as long as anyone in existence calls out to God
Oh our Messenger amongst us
Who comes with the exhortations to be heeded
You have brought to this city nobility
We welcome you who call to us a good way.
Canada has only accepted 3,500 Syrian refugees since 2014, and the new Liberal government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to accept 25,000 refugees this year.