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The New Arab

Algerian rapper Soolking raises tens of thousands for coronavirus healthcare workers

Soolking is calling on fellow artists to donate [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 April, 2020

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The French-Algerian artist is raising money to help the coronavirus efforts in the North African country.

French-Algerian rapper 'Soolking' has launched a fundraising initiative in time for Ramadan in an effort to support healthcare workers in Algeria working during the coronavirus pandemic.

Soolking, real name Abderraouf Derradji, took to Instagram to announce that he will be raising money during the holy month of Ramadan, and encouraged fellow artists and celebrities to donate.

The initiative is called "Solidarité Algérie".

"In these times of international health crisis, my heart turns to Algeria to give it all my support!"

He continued: "The money raised will be donated to associations, communities, and forces across the country.

"The objective is clear: to financially support those who take action on a daily basis and help those who need it most."

Soolking called on "artists, sportsmen, personalities and Algerians around the world" to contribute.

Speaking of Ramadan, which began today, he added: "Ramadan is near and the situation is urgent on the ground. 

"Let us support our caregivers, our associations… and quite simply, our brothers."
Instagram Post

He then nominated fellow musicians Sofiane , L'Algérino and Dj Snake to create a chain of solidarity, and they, too, took to Instagram to nominate friends for the cause.

Several rappers, including Heuss l'Enfoiré , as well footballer Riyad Mahrez and journalist Mouloud Achour, also followed the movement.

Launched less than 24 hours ago, the initiative has already raised €48,695 (£42,573).

Algeria has 2,160 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 336 deaths and 708 recoveries.

Soolking is renown for fusing Algeria Rai, the country's folk music, and Hip Hop in his songs.

His protest anthem Liberte was chanted in the streets across Algeria every week people joined anti-government demonstrations.

With over one billion streams and his first album Fruit du Demon having reached platinum, the singer has climbed the ranks in France, where he resides, and Algeria, where he grew up.

For more than a year, Algeria was gripped by weekly protests which started in February 2019 and led to the resignation of veteran president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Demonstrations continued even after he stepped down in April with protesters demanding a complete overhaul of the political establishment.

But the rallies have been suspended as the authorities imposed lockdowns to try to stem the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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