Pow­er­ful lyrics

Singers use the power of words to tackle cy­ber­bul­ly­ing

Journal Pioneer - - FRONT PAGE - BY DE­SIREE ANSTEY News­room@jour­nalpioneer.com

Ava and Lily Rashed hit a chord with their au­di­ence at the an­nual Crime Stop­pers lun­cheon in Sum­mer­side, when they per­formed their song about cy­ber­bul­ly­ing.

Two young singers hit a chord with their au­di­ence at the an­nual Crime Stop­pers lun­cheon held at the Loy­al­ist Lake­view Re­sort on Fri­day in Sum­mer­side.

Ava and Lily Rashed, 14-yearold twins from Char­lot­te­town, are fight­ing to end cy­ber­bul­ly­ing with their pow­er­ful song lyrics, “Worth It!”

“The mes­sage is how ev­ery­one in this sit­u­a­tion, from each per­spec­tive, is worth it. Maybe there’s a rea­son why he or she is bul­ly­ing the per­son, maybe they are strug­gling with low self-es­teem, so there are no win­ners. Ev­ery­one is worth it,” said Lily.

“A lot of our friends have ex­pe­ri­enced bul­ly­ing, as well as cy­ber­bul­ly­ing, so we wrote this song to help them (and oth­ers in the same sit­u­a­tion).” An excerpt from the song goes:

“I am worth it, you don’t have any­thing on me. No one’s per­fect, I have a sense of clar­ity. And you’ll never change who I am for you. You’ll never break me. I caught the stones you threw. I am worth it and I know you don’t be­lieve it, but baby so are you.”

The duo’s tal­ent is no sur­prise to their fa­ther, Hay­wire key­boardist and Is­lan­der, David Rashed.

“We’re beam­ing ev­ery time we hear them sing or write new ma­te­rial. They just have a lot of ma­tu­rity for their age. We’re very proud,” he said, with a smile.

The twins are part of an in­ter­na­tional cam­paign to fight cy­ber­bul­ly­ing.

The month of Jan­uary is ded­i­cated to rais­ing aware­ness on the largely vol­un­teer-based or­ga­ni­za­tion, Crime Stop­pers.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion plays an im­por­tant role to help make com­mu­ni­ties safer, as well as fos­ter bet­ter places to live, learn and do busi­ness.

Co-or­di­na­tor for P.E.I. Crime Stop­pers, Scott Lun­dri­gan said, “Our res­i­dents are in­cred­i­ble hu­man be­ings, and al­most 90 per cent of our tip­sters (anony­mous call­ers who con­tinue to as­sist law en­force­ment agen­cies) do not claim their re­wards.”

More than 100 at­tended the Crime Stop­pers lun­cheon to cel­e­brate the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s 29 years of op­er­a­tion. Crime Stop­pers an­nounced plans to part­ner with school and com­mu­nity groups to fund pro­grams and pre­vent youth crime.

Scott Travis, the na­tional Pink Shirt Day co-founder, shared his heart­felt story on bul­ly­ing.

“Go­ing through school was never easy for me. I was al­ways the closet tar­get, and al­ways the vic­tim. It led to events where I was beat up, put in hospi­tal and po­lice were in­volved.

“I al­ways got the tagline, which al­ways hurt the most, ‘kids will be kids.’

“I re­mem­ber this one in­ci­dent where I just got out of the hospi­tal and my un­cle was talk­ing to my par­ents about get­ting tough and say­ing this tagline, and I pulled my shirt up to re­veal the bruis­ing and said, ‘Does this look like kids just be­ing kids?’ And I walked away from it.

“This is a very real is­sue that kids and adults go through,” he said to the au­di­ence.

“Bul­ly­ing ef­fects can be last­ing.”

Fri­day was the of­fi­cial launch of the Pink Shirt cam­paign and the sale of pink T-shirts, with pro­ceeds go­ing to help youth pro­grams.

Pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­a­tion of Prince Ed­ward Is­land Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, Bruce MacDougall lifted the lun­cheon with his new song that celebrates the Is­land. “I was called into work one evening and was driv­ing down to Bor­den(-Car­leton). You could see the bridge and a beau­ti­ful sun­set,” said MacDougall, while ex­plain­ing the lyrics. “There were no waves in the (Northum­ber­land) Strait, the corn­fields were a cer­tain colour, and it was just a beau­ti­ful pic­ture. I thought to my­self, ‘This place is so beau­ti­ful, and yet so many peo­ple take it for granted.’ The pic­ture sat with me.

“The next morn­ing, I went into work and the sun was com­ing up from the east. The land­scape was still the same, but now a dif­fer­ent shade. I felt com­pelled to write a song, and the words just poured out in 15 min­utes.” MacDougall plans to re­lease his song soon.

The Jan. 26 event also in­cluded the pre­sen­ta­tion of the an­nual Crime Stop­pers awards, this year go­ing to Wayne Lilly and Mal­colm MacFar­lane.

DE­SIREE ANSTEY/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Lily Rashed, from the left, and her 14-year-old twin sis­ter, Ava, fight to end cy­ber­bul­ly­ing with their pow­er­ful song lyrics, “Worth It!”

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