back to top

People Are Incredibly Moved By This Video Of Canadian Kids Singing An Ancient Islamic Song

An Ottawa-area school board featured "Tala' al-Badru 'Alayna" in its annual holiday show.

Posted on

This video of a Canadian children's choir singing an ancient Islamic song during a Christmas pageant is giving people all the feels.

Facebook: video.php

The kids are singing "Tala' al-Badru 'Alayna" — an Arabic song that holds deep meaning for many Muslims around the world. Its message is one of hope and finding refuge.

Choir in Canada sings historical song that was sung to the Prophet when he sought refuge in Medina. #WelcomeToCanada

The performance took place at the École secondaire publique De La Salle in Ottawa in early December. Schools in the region put on an annual holiday show that includes songs from many different cultural and religious backgrounds.

Choir director Robert Filion told BuzzFeed Canada that he’s thrilled so many people have been moved by the song. However, he said he did not have refugees in mind when including it in the program.

Courtesy of Mohammad Al-Zu'bi

He said he’s been trying to include an Islamic song in the show for years, and did so this year after finding a composer who could write the piece. Ottawa composer Laura Hawley wrote the new arrangement, which also blended some French lyrics into the song.

“It had nothing to do, for us, with the Syrian refugee crisis or anything else going on in the world right now,” Filion said. (A school board spokesperson initially told BuzzFeed Canada the song was performed as a welcome to refugees.)

Canada is accepting 25,000 Syrian refugees, about 2,000 of whom will be settled in the Ottawa region.


People around the world are sharing the video and bawling their eyes out. Many are interpreting it as a symbol of welcome to Syrian refugees coming to Canada.

My entire family cried at seeing this: #Canadian children sang an ancient Arabic song of welcome to #Syrian refugees

Such a beautiful gesture by the Canadians! Brought me to tears. #WelcomeToCanada #WelcomeSyrianRefugees |

Filion said he’s happy people are drawing extra meaning from the performance in light of the refugee crisis. "It’s just tremendous and we could not ask for anything more."

Mohammad Al-Zu'bi's 8-year-old daughter Lana performed in the choir. He says the whole room was moved by the song. "I was in tears, as many [others were]," Al-Zu'bi told BuzzFeed Canada.

Courtesy of Mohammad Al-Zu'bi

The performance "reflected solidarity and inclusivity in Canadian society," Al-Zu'bi said. "We celebrated our differences in that Christmas choir."


Many are thanking Canada for its kindness in the face of the refugee crisis.

Dear #Canada, this is now my favorite video of all time, thank you for your kindness :') the feels #refugeeswelcome

Thank you Canada, for not letting fear and bigots run the show. Wish my country was doing the same.


And others just can't stop watching.

if u think ive stopped playin that video of the canadian children, ur wrong


The song "Tala' al-Badru ‘Alayna” was included in the holiday concert to reflect Islamic culture, not to welcome Syrian refugees to Canada. Citing an interview with a school board spokesperson, this post originally reported that the song was dedicated to refugees.

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.