What a weekend it was in support for Haiti! From sea to shining sea, the world seems united around a just cause: Helping Haiti to crawl out this dark hole it is now being pinned down. The weekend began with two major events on Friday night: One in the United States directed by George Clooney, who used his socio-political clout to unite more than 100 artists for a telethon that collected a resounding 58 million dollars. Some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry in the United States were present, au rendezvous to show their solidarity with the Haitian people. Noticeable in the telethon was Beyonce singing her heart out for Haiti, Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Wiclef Jean and amazingly the great Haitian songstress, Emeline Michel, who seems to have rebuilt and retooled her fashionable talent and, most importantly, her sensual and impeccable voice.
The second event on Friday night took place in Montreal. It was hosted by renowned Haitian artist Luc Mervile. Michaelle Jean, Canadian governor general of Haitian descent, kicked off the soirée with a half million dollar donation. Many Canadians and Haitian artists took part. It was reported that 6 million dollars was collected.
Saturday was the day when Haitian communities across the globe joined hands to help their Motherland. From Boston to New York to Miami to Nassau to Guadeloupe to Martinique, Haitian communities stood firm in their determination not let their beloved country bloat out existence.
In Boston, many artists were at hands. Among them were Pierre Gardy Fontaine, Mirlande Rouzard, Michael Besson, Rebecca Zama, Sebastien Lucien, Malaika Lucien, Jean Dauphin, Didi Jérémie, Berthe Lamour etc… Famous Haitian Kompa band Mizik Mizik was also present.
The biggest event on Sunday night was held in Paris at the Zenith Theater, where thousands of people showed up to say yes that Haiti will ne perish. The event was organized byFondation France pour Haiti, and the entire French media were there—France 2 , Tele 5, Radio Internationale, RFO etc… Michel Bruckner from Vivement Dimanche kicked off the event. He was followed by a multitude of media personalities like Beatrice Shongberg, Jean-Luc Paret etc.. French Cultural Minister, Frederick Mitterand was au rendezvous. Mitterand acknowledged that France owed a great deal to Haiti for having t captured Toussaint Louverture, Haitian independence precursor. Toussaint was later taken to Fort De Jouux, the infamous French prison, where he died in the cold in 1803. He also acknowledged Haiti’s contribution to the Francophone literature, recognizing that Haiti is the land of grands écrivains (famous writers) like Franketienne, Danny Laferrière etc…
Many French singers like Sylvie Vatan, Amil Vent, Florent Pagny, Natalie Mofrinot, Julia Memnemez( who came all the way from Los Angeles), Rafareal Bloncourt (sang a noticeably moving song titled Haiti Chérie) etc.. But the moment of the hour arrived when famous Belgian female rapper, Diam, burst on stage wrapped herself with a huge Haitian flag while singing her famous L’enfant du desert. World renowned saxophonist from Cameroun, Manu Dibango, was also present. Several Haitians were called in the audience to express their opinion about the event. Fleurimond Kerns, former Haiti Progres Paris correspondent and chief editorialist of the old Paris-based weekly Haiti Journal was one of them. Kerns claimed that Haiti is France rebellious daughter, and that France has a moral obligation to help Haiti rebuild. Haitian Cultural Minister, Marie Laurence Jocelyn Lassègue, who was speaking from Port-au-Prince, accentuated in the same way like Kerns.
Famous Haitian jazz musician and folk singer, Bitova Obas, moved many in the audience to their feet. Obas and Haitian rapper Alibi Montana were special guests Sunday morning on France 2 to talk about how they think Haiti can rebuild.
It was indeed a weekend full of activities designed to help Haiti. Monday in Montreal, the donor countries convene to draw a Marshall plan for Haiti. CSMS Magazine will be watching.
Also see Haiti: what is the way forward?