BUENA PARK, CA (August 7, 2006) – Islamic Relief’s highly popular “Evening of Inspiration” worldwide benefit concert tour came to an exciting close on Sunday at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. A sold out crowd of 3,000 people helped raise over $245,000 for orphans and needy children around the world .

The “Evening of Inspiration” benefit concert – touring in Dallas, New Jersey, Detroit, and Long Beach from July 27 to August 6 – showcased some of the world’s leading performers of Islamic cultural entertainment. The concerts reshaped the culture of Islamic entertainment throughout the United States, being one of the first tours of its kind in history.

The Dallas Morning News described the city’s sold out show “a refreshing departure from the routine” and added, “Diversity was on display and maybe even the star of the show. The audience crossed just about every imaginable line – black, white and brown, young and old, conservative dress and thoroughly modern.”

Headliners included Sami Yusuf, who Time Magazine online has called “Islam’s biggest rock star” who’s “songs of peace elicit Beatle-sized frenzy.” “Yusuf has fast become the leading Islamic singer in Europe, the Middle East and United States. Yusuf’s 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. At his concerts, fans go “crazy, screaming and whistling as though Elvis just entered the building,” said Time.

Maryland-based group Native Deen rocked the crowd with their upbeat and positive songs. 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.”

The “Evening of Inspiration” concerts aimed to raise funds to support orphans and children in need around the world.

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