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by World Music Network July 19, 2012


Songs For Desert Refugees

Etran FinatawaWith the worst political crisis in Mali since its independence in 1960, musicians from the Saharan desert have joined forces in a compilation CD in aid of refugees from Northern Mali. In January this year, the town of Menaka in East Mali came under attack by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (NMLA). As the conflict spread throughout the northern part of the country, tens of thousands nomadic people such as from the Touareg, Songhoi, Peulh and Arabs had to find refuge in neighbouring countries.  

Songs For Desert Refugees is full of fantastic desert sounds and includes previously unreleased tracks. Artists are from Mali, Niger and Algeria; Tinariwen, Tamikrest, Songs For Desert RefugeesIbrahim Djo experience, Faris, Nabil Baly Othmani, Amanar, Tadalat, Etran Finatawa (pictured), Terakaft, Toumast, Bombino and Tartit. The beautiful project is the result of generous musicians and music lovers who aim to remind the world of the poetic and peaceful aspects of Malian desert life. Unsurprisingly 'it is dedicated to all those who are working to make it so again.' All proceeds will go to the refugees of Northern Mali via two trusted NGOs, Tamoudré andEtar.

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What better way to support this good cause through the enjoyment of fabulous music? Below is a live performance of Nabil Baly Othmani. A live recording of the song 'Teswa Ténéré' is included in the album.