Change has a sound...-It was composed by Ihan Haydar
We asked for her picture, we got an anthem!
When we asked the ubercool drummer from the Danish band L.I.G.A to be a Global Goals World Cup ambassador, we could never have dreamed of the profound way she would impact our project. She showed up for what was just meant to be a regular photo shoot, doing a bit of PR for us, and left with the idea to compose our anthem!
Not only did she come through. She traveled to Nairobi with us and lifted the roof of the Impala Sports Club when she opened the tournament. She even played on the Zero Hunger Heroes Team from GAIN Alliance, which made it all the way to the finals!
Now, when we think about what it sounds like when the voice of hundreds of women is amplified into a great cheer for the world they want, we think it sounds just like when Ihan gets behind her hotpink drum set, and lets loose!
If you haven't yet seen the video from Nairobi here it is. Remember to turn the volume all the way up!
So much more to Ihan Haydar
You do not have to spend much time with Ihan Haydar to realize that as gorgeous and talented as she is, there is just so much more to her. She has that special courage to change what she cannot accept, which we have come to recognize as a universal trait of all the amazing activists we meet through our work.
Ihan had to fight, even for the right to express her musical talent. Growing up in Denmark with quite strict Iraqi parents, she was not encouraged to take music lessons. But she taught herself to play the drums, sneaking into the music room at school, while pretending to be at study hall. She was finally found out when she appeared on national TV, winning the Eurovision Song Contest.
By then her parents where able to appreciate her gift. But although she traveled to Azerbaijanto represent Denmark in the Song Contest, she still struggles to gain Danish citizenship. This is due to the ever stricter process implemented in order to limit the number of foreigners in Denmark. To that we can only say: Thank you Iraq, for giving us Ihan. We claim her as Danish all the way!
The universal language of soccer
Another thing you quickly come to learn about Ihan, is that she is a woman of action. Once she has an idea, she is unstoppable. A few years back, she visited the Greek island of Lesbos to help the many refugees who are stranded there. She returned home with a burning desire to make a difference. She realized, that although her resources are limited, and that she cannot fix everything, she could use her love for soccer to brighten the lives of refugee children living in Denmark. So she started coaching a team of young boys. Watching how these little, sometimes traumatized humans lit up and came to life on the pitch, and how the language barriers between the multiethnic refugees crumbled when they communicated through the universal language of soccer.
We continue to be humbled and inspired by the great people who have joined us in dreaming the dream of a global activist world cup, brining women from all parts of the world together to raise their voices, take action and play for change. And thanks to Ihan Haydar -now we also know what that dream sound like!