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Palestinian Arab Idol finalist says Issawi an inspiration
Published Monday 22/04/2013 (updated) 24/04/2013 11:08
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Muhammad Assaf, a Palestinian finalist in the TV singing contest Arab Idol, says he is inspired by long-term hunger striker Samer Issawi and would trade winning the competition for the prisoner's freedom.

"I am conveying Palestine's message to the world, and if I had to choose between winning the Arab Idol title and the freedom of Samer Issawi, I would choose freedom for the Palestinian hero whose steadfastness is peerless and I can't compare myself to it," Assaf told Ma'an.

Speaking from Beirut, the singer from Gaza City said that he considers himself an "ambassador of Palestinian art," who wants to convey a positive image of Palestinians, despite Israeli occupation and oppression.

Arab audiences are happy to see a Palestinian singing different genres of music rather than just patriotic songs, he said, adding that he has been receiving support from his fans in the Arab world.

Assaf says he has been moved by the plight of Palestinian prisoners, especially Samer Issawi who has been on hunger strike in Israeli detention for 265 days.

"Issawi has provided a model in the struggle which is too great to be imitated by artists, despite the fact that art has an element of resistance as it can deliver the message of a people under occupation to the whole world."

"I can't differentiate between my art and my patriotic attitude," he added.

Assaf qualified on Friday for the final of MBC's popular singing competition Arab Idol.

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1 ) Arnold / Canada
22/04/2013 20:14
Good. If and when he wins he can go sing to the prisoners in jail.

2 ) lana turner / malta
22/04/2013 20:14
well done palestine, love of my heart!!! samer asaawi is a true hero so this idol's words are so well said!!!! good luck to you friend hope you win and bring more awareness to the palestinian plight!!!!

3 ) Carol / United Kingdom
22/04/2013 21:47
Wonderful! Good luck, Assaf!

4 ) Zainab / UK
22/04/2013 22:14
Ma shah Allah, what a beautiful voice Muhammad Assaf has, and what a wonderful ambassador he is for Palestine. Stand proud & stand tall Muhammed, whatever happens in the final of 'Arab Idol' you are already a winner. Resistance in the face of occupation takes many forms, your ability to stand on the world stage and convey such positivity on behalf of your brothers & sisters in Palestine is a gift, a gift that Allah has given you & one that no human being can take away from you. Alfa mabruk aleyk

5 ) James / Canada
22/04/2013 22:14
Hey zio-israel hows it feel that the world see's your modus operandi, as thieves, liars, cheaters, killers, and twisters of the truth... hey arnold? sad little pos.

6 ) charlie campbell / IRELAND
23/04/2013 00:19
Well done Issawi we here in Ireland are behind you all the way as we have had our own hunger strike here many years ago" one of the best men was bobby sands. Which all of palestine got behind us in our hour of need God bless you Issawi and keep the faith and most of all keep singing it's good for the soul. May you country be free one day like us i will pray for you (sl?n) irish for bye.

7 ) Reeda kassis / Australia
23/04/2013 01:02
wonderful ambassador ya Muhammad Assaf, alla ma3aak to the highest mountain of success and alla ma3 akhouna Samer Issawi for the Freedom that he and all our Palestinian brothers and sister wilfully deserve if there is justice in this world.

8 ) Shannon / USA
23/04/2013 10:33
Why is it that the only two negative comments come from the Western hemisphere?! I honestly had not heard of this story before my friend posted a link to it and I am completely appalled that my neighbors to the north would be so negative. Having a voice like this young man's is a gift and I'm glad he was honest on the show for the world to see. Singing is an art form! Keep up the work and continue being an idol for ALL! <3

9 ) joop & ans jansen / the netherlands
23/04/2013 13:53
Amer Issawi is the Palestinian Nelson Mandela! Great song Muhammad!

10 ) myra / canada
23/04/2013 16:02
Middle eastern music is the most beautiful music in the world.the voice the instruments just beautiful.

11 ) Fatima / usa
23/04/2013 18:38
Great Job. keep up the good work. Allah ma3ak.

12 ) George H / UK
23/04/2013 23:20
Wonderful voice , great presentation . Congratulations MUHAMMAD ASSAF . Understanding Palestine is the begining of understanding the oppressed round the world .

13 ) Rami / Palestine
24/04/2013 12:33
#9 Your sentiment would be more heartfelt if you actually knew the name of the person you were referencing. I think you man Samer Issawi? Personally, I still haven't thanked Dwight Obama for winning the Nobel Peace Prize, nor Andre Netanyahu for winning the Israeli elections again.

14 ) yuri yuroshka / syria
26/04/2013 19:32
I adore you and ur great talent...with ur awesome attitude ..you hurt the ones who dont want palestine to rise in anyway.. keep it up our idol..palestine and its heros are always in our hearts...and ur apperance now in arab idol..makes it easier for us to show how much we love palestine..even if we cant go fight there right now to have it back <3 may u get the freedom soon <3 love ya

15 ) Isa / Palestine/USA
26/04/2013 23:44
Will never forget Arab Jerusalem/Paletine.

16 ) Ali / USA
29/04/2013 03:55
Good luck and you deserve to win.

17 ) bent gaza / canada
12/05/2013 05:51
what a beautiful voice asafe. your not just arab idol you are suppose to be all the world idol

18 ) farha / palestine
20/05/2013 20:04
we love you we hope that u win

19 ) Sam / Dubai
21/05/2013 12:14
Yes, but can he throw rocks too?

20 ) Sha Sha / Philippines
03/06/2013 10:38
Wonderful Voice ..... Good Luck Assaf. I LOVE PALESTINE :) :) :)
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