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Sting's New Song "Inshallah" Acknowledges Refugee Hardships

posted on: Nov 17, 2016

Arab America

BY: Meshal Abusalem/Contributing Writer

Most people recognize the name Sting and his long career in the music industry. This week, Sting has just released a new album, which includes a song called “Inshallah” that brings light back to the refugee crisis.

Gordon Sumner, who goes by his stage name “Sting”, is a well-known British singer, songwriter, and actor. Sting has received 16 Grammy awards, both as a solo artist and member of the hit band, The Police. Some of Sting’s greatest hits include: “Every Breath You Take”, “Desert Rose”, and “Shape of My Heart”.

Sting’s latest album “57th and 9th” features a song called “Inshallah”. His song is a tribute to all migrants who have been suffering in their journeys to safety. The lyrics talk about a family on a boat, suggesting that he is especially aware of families risking their lives on boats in search of a better life.

When asked about the refugee crisis, Sting said that he does not have a political opinion on the issue. His answer, however, might mean more to people than any political solution. Sting said, “It’s driven by warfare in the Middle East. It’s driven by poverty in Africa. It may be driven by climate change in the very near future. So it’s not going to be something we can hope to end tomorrow. I don’t have a political solution, but I feel if there’s a solution to it, it has to be grounded in some kind of empathy for those people in those boats. Because we as a species all migrate. We’re all migrants. Everyone in this country is a migrant, I’m a migrant, our ancestors were migrants. It’s not going to stop, that’s what we do”

The reason for calling the song “Inshallah” was the meaning of the word. Inshallah translates to “God willing.” Arabs use this word before doing something, leaving the results in God’s hands. Refugees say “Inshallah” before escaping a war zone and entering the waters, not knowing their fate. To Sting, this “implies resignation, it implies humility, it implies hope, it implies courage. And for me, it implies solidarity.”

Sting also appreciates the Arab and Islamic cultures, giving them credit to contributions made to society. “Arab culture has given us extraordinary things: science, astronomy, architecture, music, many things.”

This is not the first time Sting has featured Arabic in his music. The song “Dessert Rose” included Arabic back-up vocals. The singer’s eagerness to express the beauty behind the Arabic language, especially the word “Inshallah”, is an appreciation of Arab culture that is often unseen in mainstream Western media.