Gazan Singer Wins Arab Idol Contest – Dedicates Award to His People Who Have “Suffered More Than 60 Years Under Israeli Occupation”

Palestinian Mohammaed Assaf won the Arab Idol contest tonight. Assaf dedicated his win to “the Palestinian people, who have been suffering for more than 60 years from (Israeli) occupation.”
Here he is performing, “I Want It That Way.”

You have to admit – Assaf can sing.

AU News 7 reported:

Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf on Saturday won a pan-Arab singing contest that has had millions of viewers fixed to their TV screens since March, sparking celebrations in Gaza and the West Bank.

As Palestinians took to the streets to celebrate Assaf’s Arab Idol victory, he dedicated the win to “the Palestinian people, who have been suffering for more than 60 years from (Israeli) occupation”.

“Mohammed Assaf is the Arab Idol!” called out the presenter of the show, modelled on the Western Pop Idol contest, as coloured confetti rained down on the cheering audience.

Assaf will become the UN’s first Palestinian ambassador.
Palestinian Maan News reported:

Mohammad Assaf, the first Palestinian to win the popular Arab Idol TV singing contest, will also become the UN’s first Palestinian ambassador.

A diplomatic source in Beirut, where MBC’s Arab Idol is filmed, told Ma’an the agreement was signed days ago to make Assaf the first-ever Palestinian refugee to become a UN ambassador. He will become the Palestine refugee agency UNRWA’s first-ever regional youth ambassador, the source said Saturday.

“A man with a golden voice is going to take the Palestinians’ voice to the universe. At long last, a fantastic story out of Gaza that will touch the hearts of the world,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the ambassadorship had not yet been announced.

“It is is a wonderful day for Palestine and for the UN.”

Thousands of Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza celebrated in the streets late Saturday after the judges announced this year’s winner. They also launched fireworks.

Assaf, a 23-year-old from Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, has become a household name in Palestine.

In an interview as he prepared for the final stages of the show, he thanked his fans in Palestine for their support.

“If I keep thanking you forever it is never enough,” Assaf said, promising to do his best to keep entertaining his fans.

He also thanked Palestinian leaders for their encouragement, particularly those who came to Beirut to watch him perform in the show.

“Their presence gave me more energy to move on and sing better and represent Palestine in its beautiful image,” he said.

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