Earlier this year, Daniyal Noorani wrote, sang, and produced a thought-provoking music video called, “Find Heaven” (Jannat Pao in Urdu). The lyrics are as follows,
Hey/What’s going on over here/Something’s just not right/My head is spinning with questions/But where are all the answers/Tell me one by one they came and they said/Do you see the truth?/Just follow me my friend/And you will find heaven
In April, Daniyal wrote for CHUP,
The lyrics for “Find Heaven” was a moment of inspiration…during those days I was clearly disturbed by the events that were transpiring in Pakistan. Suicide bombings were happening on a daily basis and the subsequent public opinion, at best, was apathetic. While writing “Find Heaven” I thought of it more as a narrative and story which highlighted society’s failing as opposed to thinking of it as a statement against the extremists.
Recently, Daniyal made the decision to turn that theme into an entire campaign, using animation and music to “bridge the communication gap between the ‘Muslim World’ and the West.” The animated videos will aim to address extremism, militancy, corruption, women’s rights and other issues. When I last spoke to Daniyal about the Find Heaven campaign he noted, “I think this approach is innovative as it is using a medium – animation – that is considered childish to address a mature and grave subject. In addition, I believe trying to move away from the documentary approach and creating content that can be part of “pop culture” can make an impression on a wider demographic, the youth in particular.”
The kickstarter campaign will produce songs like “Cover Up” and the “Reluctant Terrorist,” and even an anime series called, “The Stories of Chota Jatt,” a mythical character who can fight extremism, corruption, and other ills facing Pakistani society today. This of course requires funding, [see Daniyal’s appeal below featuring The Kominas’ Shahjehan Khan], so to donate and learn more about the campaign, click here. Daniyal needs to raise $10,000 to make a communications campaign of this kind possible, so donate today!
From a personal standpoint, the Find Heaven campaign is innovative and unique and conjures up past attempts by cartoonists and musicians to tackle difficult subjects through approachable mediums. Maus, the graphic novel by Art Spiegelman, for instance, told the story of the Holocaust by portraying the Jews as mice and the Nazis as cats. The 99 is a comic book series by Dr. Naif al-Mutawa about Muslim superheroes promoting universal values. Using nuanced characters like Young Jatt allows the messaging to be far more tailored to a local target audience in order to get this campaign’s point across. Given the many and very serious issues Pakistan faces today, a campaign of this kind is not only unique, it’s much needed.
Daniyal’s campaign appeal (here’s also a link to a piece he wrote for the Huffington Post):
And their public service announcement: