New video by Iranian composer Bijan Mortazavi

Bijan Mortazavian Iranian composer and singer-songwriter, has released a new music video titled Lalaieor Lullaby. First released by Radio Javan and then shared with IranWire, the track draws attention to the plight of refugees around the world.

According to the latest UN statistics, there are more than 82 million displaced people in today’s world. This number increased by more than two million since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 – the largest single wave in Europe since World War II – and that number continues to rise.

Last year alone, more than 700,000 Afghans fled their country after the Taliban came to power, joining the 2.2 million already abroad. The EU, Norway, Switzerland and the UK have received asylum applications from more than 617,000 desperate people, from Belarusians to Eritreans, Syrians to Iranians, each seeking shelter, each with a story to tell. And images of terrified Ukrainian mothers and disoriented children crossing the border have been haunting the airwaves of free countries for two weeks now.

Mortazavi’s new track aims to express the feelings of those millions and millions of people. The 64-year-old violinist and pianist left Iran for the United States on a student visa just before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and never returned home. What motivated him to produce Lullaby, he told IranWire, was “to awaken the public to the plight of refugees”.

“Every day,” Mortazavi said, “I feel the pain of being away from my homeland for 45 years. It doesn’t matter whether a refugee left their home because of war, tyranny or poverty. They all leave behind their family, their past and their roots to find refuge.I wanted to use art, beautiful poetry and music to draw attention to them.

“To be human is to open our arms”

Bijan Mortazavi’s five-minute video for Lullaby, arranged by Barbod Bayat and mixed by Parsa Ghavizad, features plenty of real-life footage of families fleeing conflict zones around the world. In particular, it shows children crammed into dinghies and making the dangerous and traumatic sea crossing to Europe, waiting in asylum processing centers and being helped by rescue workers. The lyrics, against a background of violin and cello, evoke calm and rest: something that often escapes those who cross.

Since 2014, global commentators, media and lawmakers have sought to differentiate between “real” and “bogus” refugees, or between “refugees” and “migrants”; often oblivious to the very real human rights abuses they face at home. “Some believe that a refugee must be on the verge of execution, or that only a war can justify becoming a refugee,” Mortazavi said. ” But this is not the case.

“Unfortunately, our corrupt international system does not follow the logic of human rights conventions signed by governments. Human rights laws are gathering dust. Forced lifestyles, poverty, social and economic decay, cronyism and daily misery – all of these can cause a human being who is not attached to his system to flee, in order to live as a human being.

The recent closing of borders, illegal pushbacks and the rise of the far right, especially in parts of Europe, are, for Mortazavi, an early sign of a global atrophy of humanity. “Every human being must open their arms to the other,” he says. “That’s what humanity means.

“Only geographical borders separate us, requiring a visa to move just a few meters. It is the corrupt international system that separates people. When someone who wears a suit commands more respect than someone who fights day and night for a piece of bread, it means humanity is in retreat.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), since 2014 in minus 47,353 people disappeared during the asylum journey. Unfortunately, just like those who are successful, the number of such people continues to grow every day.

The following is IranWire’s translation of Mortazavi’s Persian lyrics Lalaiewritten by Vandad Fallah:

Sleep, gently close your heavy eyelids

Sleep, gently close your sad eyes

Sleep, gently close your restless eyes

Sleep, my love, let me worry about the terrors all around

Sleep, my life, I’m next to you

Don’t be afraid of the night, cause I’ll be awake for you all night

Gently close your eyes my darling

So I can’t see the tears of the night in your eyes

Cast the night from the bottom of your eyes

I’ve waited for the night all my life

Sleep, so your sleep will set the night adrift

Sleep, my life, make my heart dance with your movements and your reversals

Stun me with the poetry of your being

Shame the scent of the flower of the night with your perfume

Sleep, my life, I’m next to you

Don’t be afraid of the night, cause I’ll be awake for you all night

Gently close your eyes, darling

So I can’t see the tears of the night in your eyes

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