The Awakening Awards is a special award bestowed upon musicians for undertaking efforts to serve a cause greater than themselves.
The award, launched this year by the Bite My Music team, has accorded the recognition to Amy Hopegood from Pakistan together with other extraordinary individuals from across the globe including Lady Kash & Krissy of Singapore, for their ‘One” charity single, Steve Northcott from Malaysia for his efforts for Rocking The Environment, and the non-musician Mohd Sulaiman Gerard from Malaysia for the Awakening Project, a sports initiative to help provide soccer/futsal clinics for underprivileged children.
All recipients will receive undivided media and marketing support from the Bite My Music (www. bitemymusic.com) team as well as help to secure sponsors for their cause.
“We were compelled to hear her story, and what she unfolded through her words, poetry and short film truly moved us to awaken and connect with her dream,vision and plight. We believe this is a story to share with everyone and we hope along the way, like-minded souls will share the ride with Amy” , shared Siva Zaphod Chandran, founder of the awards.
If I were to define what I am, I would not prefer to use the term “Sufi,” as it is today a misunderstood word, and often draped in controversy. But for lack of a closer word to describe my state of being, I would say I do not follow any Sufi “way [tareeqah]” but I have a Sufi heart. I was born to walk the silent roat of cosmic sorrow… I feel sorrow for the world, for humanity. I feel a strong connection between sorrow and my philosophy of a mystic, ascetic being. The philosophy and existance of one who is not. So in essence I am a Sufi but not in the commonly perceived sense, but in that as all God’s creations, I am one with them all.
I am one with the stars
the mountains, clouds and rain
I am the joy in pain
I am the sweetness in tears; The aftermath
I am the fullness of empty spaces
I am the heart bleeding inside the stone
My love is a mermaid’s lullabi
carried by waves
gently lapping onto the shore
like kisses on a forehead
My life can be summed up in one word… “sorrow,” and this is not a form of depression, rather a state of being sorry for the pain of humanity. I had a dream many many years ago that changed my life. I knew when I awoke from it that night, I had awaken from a long sleep and gone blind… I stopped looking, and began seeing… with the heart.
My mission is not to collect charity to help my fellow humans, but rather to collect tears. There are plenty of goodfolk doing wonderful things in the world to serve noble causes and they have done a wonderful job.
I am sorrow…
I beg tears…
I go from door to door, begging for tears, trading them with smiles.
Give me all your tears, I want to absorb all your pain…
Keep all your smiles and mine… The tears and pain shall be mine…
This dream, this baby was being nurtured inside me for years, not knowing what to name it, not being able to imagine what it would look like or what it would when it grew up… till recently… about a year ago.
It all started with a facebook status update: “Come! Let’s rise as clouds.. and fall gently as rain.” Let’s rise above the love for soil, caste, blood and lust… and fall as rain which is mercy, love, giving and compassion. I felt the pain of my people and that only pathos; Sufi love as I feel it, could wipe those tears, and change lives by changing minds.
It was triggered by the worst floods that drowned 1/3 of Pakistan back in August 2010… Over the next 24 hours, those words haunted me… the agitation was indescribable. And within 24 hours, that status became a song called “Rain of Love, A Song for Pakistan” It was a story of the pain that flooded Pakistan over the decades… from disasters; man-made worse than natural clamity. Injustice, broken dreams, folded promises, corruption and social decay, injustice and violence against the weak, the minorities, the women, the children… the missing persons… the lies and media drama…
Digital shamans and concrete jungles was how I visualised the walls around me closing in…
I was going through the worst phase of my life.. being myself a woman facing the greatest challenges.. single-parenting, and the claws of nepotism, favoritism, greed, lust, bullying gripping tight… I refused to give in to the pressures, but simultaneously, I took a decision, a road much less traveled against the advice of every sane person around from family to friends to gloating foes…
But I stuck to what my heart wanted… I quit my job after a 26-year long career, and did many things all at one.. I wrote poetry, did theater, stand-up comedy, composed music, went and performed on the streets… on trains and busses, in parks and public places… just to share a universal bond and not to make money or fame… just for the priceless joy of making hearts smile
But those words still haunted. I was not feeling fulfilled… the baby was growing bigger, hungrier, more restless… I knew it was not enough… I knew there was much more I had to.. could do!
The dream started moving and kicking… I had the kind of nausea one feels when adrenalin and creative ideas surge to insane levels… and went into a labor of writing tons of ideas… concepts from tv drama, to theater, stand-up comedy and music… the waters have finally broke… and the dream is born.
With no means whatsoever, save for a laptop and broadband connection, I uploaded my first crude music video and the rain of love was touching everyone who saw it. The first words uttered by my baby… Rain of Love, a Song for Pakistan…
But my baby… my dream has grown bigger than me… My dream wants to change the world.. back when it was conceived, I had no clue what to do.. but now I know exactly what I want to do… I know it is a suicidal mission… not that kind LOL! I mean it is easier to collect funds… but it is the hardest thing to change thinking. My mission is social change for the betterment of humanity.
For this I have designed a complete program towards a paradigm shift, a herculean task… an uphill battle with the forces that are ashes covering the ambers glowing in every human heart…
Being mixed offspring of a Palestinian father and Pakistani mother… makes it even more challenging. I jokingly call myself a “Pakistilian.” So here I am… a half Pakistani, half Palestinian indigo child, very stubborn and questioning everything… a receipe for disaster? or the makings of a great change catalist… I bring my diversity into a society that is known to be intolerant of it… Every pain I see, save for natural disaster, comes from racism… and here racism takes on many forms, shapes and disguises… Many a heart was broken and marriages never made because of it… All killings, wars, violence and suffering is because of some form of racism or other…
I decided to end racism or die trying… So Come with me. Leave everything behind! Come! Let’s rise as Clouds.. and fall gently as rain. Leave everything behind that you cannot carry within your heart.
Of course it is easy to talk about great things, but with the talk must come practical solutions.. and I have the skills and creative talent to execute those solutions… With my music, stand-up comedy, acting, screenwriting and directing skills, and with networking. Despite being a socially awkward introvert, on social media and on stage, on screen, I have a natural talent to connect people all the time… people of like minds and all walks of life… and I am collecting them at the same time… building an ever widening circle of collaboration… I have friends who are extremely talented.. far better than myself.. who share my passion and dream.. who want to bring about a positive change in society and heal the pain… through film, TV, theater, concerts, stand-up comedy, events and ground activities, national and regional seminars, advocacy, communication and social mobilization (ACSM), social media networkds and all art forms across all media… The concepts and program have been designed and now the dream is taking its first tentative steps into the world… It has a life of its own… and all we need to do is nurture it by holding one another’s hands and to keep walking forward. I feel it coming.. the change. the universal consciousness shift that will change darkness to light and pain to healing.. It is inevitable and I know that my like-minded friends and myself are part of it.
If I could change one thing for the world, my country, people, family, it would be minds and hearts… and I believe I have put my foot on the first step on the tousand mile road.
Peace Love Light Oneness!