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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
ISOI Dedicates “Prayer of the Children” to Peshawar Victims
By Rose C. Puffer 02-Mar-16
December 16, 2014 marked one year since the deadly attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan. After a seven-hour siege, the Tehrik-I-Taliban, who claimed responsibility for the attack, had murdered 141 K–12 students and staff and wounded 150 more. With news coverage leaving little to the imagination, the students at the International School of Islamabad (ISOI) looked on in horror as they watched the dreadful images of children of their same age being carried out of the school, injured, scarred, and most devastatingly, lifeless. On December 16th, 2015, as a requiem for those lost during the horrific event, the middle and high school choir of ISOI, under the direction of Zachary Rush, came together as one voice to dedicate a simple yet powerful song called Prayer of the Children during their Winterfest performance. Prayer of the Children, written and composed by Kurt Bestor, was originally dedicated to children displaced during the Bosnian War from 1992–1995. With a mission to infuse the song with new power, the students worked with their director to translate the Bosnian lyrics into Urdu, the language of Pakistan. The result was simple and moving. “Crying who will help me feel the sun again upon my face? For when darkness clears, I know you’re near, bringing peace again. Kya Aap Bachon Ki Dua Soon Saktay Ho, Can you hear the prayer of the children?” The song was performed for the entire International School of Islamabad community in memory of their fellow Pakistani schoolmates and teachers and as a plea to humanity to eradicate violence and conflict in Pakistan, as well as in the rest of the world.
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