BY DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL OCT 24, 2022 – 11:06 PM GMT+3
First Lady Emine Erdoğan warmly welcomed world-renowned musician Yusuf Islam’s concert in Türkiye’s capital on Monday.
Islam, also known as Cat Stevens, performed in the country for the first time in Istanbul as part of the Beyoğlu Culture Road Festival last week.
“We are extremely pleased to have hosted world-famous musician Yusuf Islam and his family in our country. He touched our hearts with his artwork reflected through the universal language of music,” Ms. Erdoğan said on Twitter.
She also said they were fascinated by Islam’s song, which was inspired by Turkish folk poet Yunus Emre.
The First Lady shared photos from the night, including one where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan holds Islam’s guitar.
The proceeds from the concerts will go toward Islam’s charity organization “Peace Train,” which aims to feed people around the world.
In March, Islam received an International Benevolence Award organized by Türkiye’s Presidency of Religious Affairs for his Peace Train project, titled after his 1971 song. The motto of the charity work of Yusuf Islam Foundation, Peace Train involves food aid to disadvantaged communities around the globe, access to water and the construction of playgrounds for children in Africa, among other charitable works. Award organizers say Islam touched the hearts of both Muslims and non-Muslims with his “stance as a genuine faithful” and “actions.” Islam was also recognized for his contribution to Cambridge Mosque, Europe’s first eco-friendly mosque, which is located in the eponymous English city. Islam who could not attend the ceremony personally sent a video message and thanked Erdoğan for Turkey’s acts of benevolence and leadership for Muslims across the world.
Yusuf Islam, born Steven Georgiou, converted to Islam in 1977 following a brush with death when he nearly drowned in the Pacific while swimming off Malibu Beach.
He now works for philanthropic causes, especially for Muslim communities across the world.
Islam started his music career in the 60s. 70-year-old Islam was born in London, where he learned to play the piano at a young age. When he was 15, he began to play the guitar and started writing songs.