Elvis

by Nabihah Iqbal

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**UPDATE 15.03.2021: Today I paid off Arusa's loan in full, with the help of all your generous donations. We have accopmplished a truly life-changing task for Arusa and her family because without this help, it is unlikely that they would ever be able to repay the full amount. The total repayment amount came to £2387. However, we have raised even more than that! The figure currently stands at £3413.47 - so incredible! With the excess, I have put some towards Arusa's education and I will make sure the rest also goes to helping her family or other charitable causes. All proceeds from the sale of this track will ALWAYS be donated to a charitable cause. I'll keep this page updated with future news re. amount raised and causes to which the funds are going. THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO HAS BOUGHT THE TRACK SO FAR!!!! I can't believe so much money was raised so quickly for Arusa. I am truly grateful to the power of music and people's generosity.

This is a previously unreleased track and the reason why I'm putting it out now is to help a girl called Arusa and her family in Karachi, Pakistan: all proceeds from the sale of this track will go directly to them.

ARUSA'S STORY

I'm currently staying with my grandparents in Pakistan and Arusa is a 17-year old girl that comes to do housework at my grandparents' house everyday. Her mother is also a domestic servant and they clean people's houses to make a living. Arusa and her family live in a 2-room house with 10 other people, in a slum area of Karachi without any running water.

Arusa's life has been tough so far. Her father died when she was young so her mother, Shameem, had to bring up all the children herself. Arusa's older brother died from liver cancer, leaving behind four young children which the family now cares for. Arusa's younger brother died of a heart condition because the family could not afford to pay for healthcare. Her older sister had an arranged marriage and then was injured in a road accident. Her husband subsequently brought her back to the family because he said he didn't want her anymore. Her mother Shameem could not afford to pay for her injured daughter's medical treatment so the girl's legs never healed properly and now she can't walk, hence she is also now dependent on Arusa and Shameem.

Shameem took out a loan of 500,000 PKR to pay for that daughter's marriage and they are struggling to pay it back. Arusa starts work at 7am (without breakfast because they can't afford it) to 8pm everyday, cleaning 8 houses (Shameem does the same), so that they can scrape together enough to repay 13,000 PKR (£60) a month, and also earn enough to pay their rent of 14,000 rupees. Working at this rate to pay back the loan means that Arusa will need to carry on cleaning houses from 7am to 8pm everyday for the next 3 years, and that isn't even taking into account any interest on the loan.

Her poor family are in a desperate situation and I've already agreed to help them, but I thought that maybe with the help of my fans and followers, this help could be multiplied, with a life-changing effect on Arusa and her family.

If just 2500 people all bought this track for £1, it would raise enough to pay off their loan, and if we surpassed that figure, maybe there would be enough financial support for the family so that Arusa could go to school instead of spending her life cleaning houses.

I've tried to paint a picture of Arusa's life in these few paragraphs just to give an idea of what she has to deal with on a daily basis and it's difficult to comprehend. On top of this, her's is just one story, in a country where millions of people live in abject poverty. I've posted a photo of her on my instagram - please head to @nabihahiqbal on insta to check it out.

Thanks in advance for everyone's support and I hope you enjoy the track too :)

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released March 2, 2021

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Nabihah Iqbal London, UK

Musician, producer, DJ and broadcaster from London. Her debut album, 'Weighing of the Heart' was released via Ninja Tune in Dec 2017. Nabihah is currently working on her second album at Somerset House in London, where she is an artist-in-residence.

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