BUENA PARK, CA (July 14, 2006) – Islamic Relief is bringing the highly popular “Evening of Inspiration” benefit concert to the United States for the first time, after holding it for the third straight year in the United Kingdom and selling out in all six venues. The U.S. concerts will tour in four locations – Dallas, New Jersey, Detroit, Los Angeles – from July 27 to August 6, 2006.

The “Evening of Inspiration” will showcase some of the world’s leading performers of Islamic cultural entertainment. All concert proceeds will benefit Islamic Relief’s projects aimed at aiding children around the world, including orphans.

Headliners include British singing sensation Sami Yusuf and the Maryland-based group Native Dean. Yusuf has fast become the leading Islamic singer in Europe, the Middle East and United States. Yusuf’s first album has sold over 1 million copies and his music videos have topped the charts on Middle East satellite channels. His concerts in Belgium and Germany have attracted 30,000 and 12,000 fans, respectively.

About Native Deen, New York Public Radio, WNYC, has said: “Rap music is usually associated with conspicuous consumption, crude language, and flashy performance. But Muslim trio Native Deen stay away from bad words, dress conservatively, and regularly exhort listeners to prayer. … It’s all part of being black and Muslim in the United States, they say–and like Christian rock did a decade ago, they are finding their niche.”

Comedians taking part in the concerts include Preacher Moss, who has written for “The George Lopez Show” and Damon Wayans, and Azhar Usman, who has been called the “Ayatollah of Comedy” and featured on “Nightline.” Detailed bios of the performers are available online at: irw.org/inspiration.

SHAMSUL’s STORY: Orphaned … But Not Alone

Four-year old Shamsul Rehman was sitting on the roof of his house when last October’s South Asia earthquake struck, the worst quake the region has ever experienced. Within seconds, Shamsul had lost everything: his family home was flattened and many of his immediate family members including his mother were crushed to death.

On the other side of the village, his father had started his normal working day in a local bakery. The impact of the quake caused the bakery to catch fire, killing Shamsul’s father along with many other bakery employees.

Shamsul now lives in a refugee camp and is one of many orphans sponsored through Islamic Relief’s one-to-one sponsorship project. Nothing can replace the tremendous loss Shamsul and many other children like him experienced, but hopefully the sponsorship will go some way to help rebuild his life.

The “Evening of Inspiration” concerts aim to raise funds to help children like Shamsul and the over 16,000 other orphans that Islamic Relief projects support.

WHAT:

“Evening of Inspiration” concert series to benefit children across the world

WHEN:

July 27 – August 6, 2006

WHERE:

Dallas – New Jersey – Detroit – Los Angeles