Ahlan! Canadian children’s choir performing traditional Arabic song goes viral
A screenshot from the concert. (Youtube)
A children's choir in Canada performed a traditional Arabic song that went viral over the weekend just as Syrian refugees began arriving in the country.
The choir of about 200 kids from Ottawa French public schools in grades 4 to 6 performed the song as part of a December concert. "Tala' al-Badru 'Alayna" is considered an Arabic song of hope, reportedly a song to Muhammad as he fled to Medina in the 7th Century. After the song was posted on YouTube, it received over 750,000 views and it's share of controversy.
Robert Filion, choral director at École Secondaire Publique De La Salle and the man who commissioned the arrangement said the decision to do the song was made will before the Canadian government pledged to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees.
"Every year we try to touch different cultures, and a year ago we started planning to do a Muslim-inspired piece," Filion told the CBC. "We came up with that tune ... and the rest is history."
Filion was surprised to find out a video of the performance was a YouTube hit.
"We had no idea. We were not going for this type of impact," Filion said. "This was just our own little concert a week-and-a-half ago, and now all of the sudden the entire world seems to be enjoying it."