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London Band Bring Hope To Terrorised Iraqi Refugee Children

Cherrie Anderson - Ooberfuse - Tue, Apr 14th 2015



Whilst some travel from London to the Middle East to support the brutally intolerant ISIS hate-machine, Woolwich electronica band ooberfuse have just returned from a different mission to ISIS- frontline town Erbil…


Shooting footage for their latest music videos from forthcoming In Three Days, they delivered a message of hope to the beleaguered inhabitants of the improvised displacement camps springing up in Erbil’s dusty environs. The message of solidarity pervades the first video from their audio triptych In Three Days and can be previewed here :


Cherrie Anderson, the band’s front woman, says : “Whilst there was a very real and palpable sense of fear that ISIS would scale Kurdish Peshmerga’s defenses to capture Erbil in the time we were there, nevertheless the children in the displacement camps exuded defiant joy. It is hard to imagine the horrors they have witnessed fleeing ISIS to find temporary refuge in the improvised camps. Through the smiles and ‘V’ signs of defiance you could see the trauma sketched in visible lines on the faces of even the youngest children. The boys echo their parents’ aspirations for them to become fighters when they come of age. It is a pastoral challenge (some field-workers told me) to break this spiral of revenge to encourage the children to adopt more positive career aspirations like becoming a doctor or a teacher.”


Hal St John, instrumentalist and backing vocalist, adds : “As a band based in Woolwich we were ourselves (along with the rest of the nation) traumatised by the barbaric killing of Lee Rigby in broad daylight on a London street in May 2013. This experience has undoubtedly sensitised us to the sufferings of those persecuted by radical Islamists around the world. The lawless eviction of families from their homes and villages by Islamic State insurgents created a humanitarian crisis evidenced by the dusty and crowded displacement centres set up around the Kurdish town of Erbil. Whilst the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) is doing incredible work supplying the physical needs of displaced families, the UN Security Council’s failure to unify behind a common course of action means lives continue to be vulnerable. This failure to protect through UN military intervention means the further genocide of non-Islamic groups is increasingly likely to happen as ISIS consolidates its position. What further atrocities will it take before the Security Council is stirred to action.”


The band distributed learning materials to the youngest children in the displacement centres including We Are One colouring books prefaced with a personal message from Cardinal Archbishop Nichols : "My dear Children, I know that life for you at the moment is very difficult indeed, so I hope that these lovely colouring books will bring you some happiness. Please know that Jesus is with you always. I am keeping each one of you in my prayers. Please pray for me. Thank you. God bless you all. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster."




Cherrie Anderson

0754 557 4726


Hal St John                 

0758 131 1582


 We Are One

In our hope 
In our faith
In our love
We are one
You're never alone
In this dream 
We are one

In the middle of the deep black night
As I'm searching for the faintest light
I'm hoping you'll say
We are one

As I journey through the wilderness
Will the madness never ever end
I pray that they'll see
We are one

Chorus (as above)

Through the fire, through the desert storm
Through the years, through to forevermore
Through the heat of the blazing sun 
We're one
Through the climb to paradise
All heaven and hell will see

Chorus (as above)

We have a hope that lives on 
And will not ever die
As we fix our eyes on the unseen
Beyond the sky
We drink from the fountain
We know won't dry 
We are one

As we press on to run this race and see love's face
Each tear is wiped away as we feel His embrace
We are one














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