In our weekly #TogetherTuesday serial, we’ve been connecting with our people, across 30 countries, bringing them together, staying engaged and supporting our Abdul Latif Jameel community during this unusual time.

We’ve been sharing insights into our own remote working experiences, and the actions we are taking to stay healthy, well and safe at home.

This week, we meet Toshiaki Sakai, General Manager, Marketing, Planning and Operations Support at Abdul Latif Jameel Motors International – and lead singer of the Dubai-based band ‘The Deserts’.  With a keen interest in music and performing for over three decades, Sakai-san has been using his musical talent to lift the spirits of his network, including his colleagues at Abdul Latif Jameel.

Taking the traditional Japanese song, Sakura, a song commemorating the country’s famous Cherry Blossom season, Toshiaki has prepared a bespoke composition, appropriate to these times of uncertainty and remote working. The song is intended to send a message of togetherness and hope to our community – and encouragement to look ahead to brighter days.

“I’ve always believed that music has the power to create a sense of belonging and participation– and this is really standing true in these times of physical disconnection. When the lockdown first began here in Dubai, I felt anxious that my world had suddenly become so much smaller.  Then, I realized, that with the technology available, geographical isolation doesn’t have to result in social isolation.

By singing with my family every day, performing online rehearsals with the other members of my band, and even hosting concerts and creating music videos via videoconference with my friends and colleagues – I strangely feel more connected than ever!

We may be apart, for now; but music is bringing us together!”

Listen to the full track below:

Sakura, composed for #TogetherTuesday

We will wait until the day we can meet here again.
We will remain standing here, waving for you on the path with the rows of cherry trees.

I’d always remember you never gave up your smile
even while you’re going through the toughest time.

It was courage and love you gave to us
to face hardships and challenges.

Those scenes may fade away with a passage of time
but I’d never forget the song brought us together.

Sakura, Sakura.

We shall enjoy the glory now,
even if it is our destiny to face the challenge.

My friend, our hearts shall not be faded,the time shall never tear us apart.
How can I miss this chance for my life,the most sincere words I’d ever say.

Though it may be said anytime, anywhere, my best wishes for your brightest future.
Now, this little town is in transition like we are,just as if they are pushing us forward.

Sakura, Sakura.

We shall enjoy the glory now,
even if it is our destiny to face the challenge.

My friend, our hearts shall not be faded,
the time shall never tear us apart.

My friend, our hearts shall not be faded,
the time shall never tear us apart.