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Assaf named goodwill UN ambassador
Published Saturday 22/06/2013 (updated) 26/06/2013 12:20
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Mohammad Assaf became Palestine's first Arab Idol on Saturday.
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Mohammad Assaf, the first Palestinian to win the popular Arab Idol TV singing contest, will also become the UN's first Palestinian goodwill 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 goodwill UN ambassador, becoming 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.

As he succeeded in the final stages of the show, Assaf received phone calls from President Mahmoud Abbas and former Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

The president urged Palestinian communities across the world to vote for Assaf, and instructed the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs to contact embassies to mobilize support for the Arab Idol star.

Assaf said he would first return to his home in the Gaza Strip after the competition and later perform three shows in West Bank cities.
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1 ) Hilde / Norway
22/06/2013 23:53
Beautiful voice for a beautiful people

2 ) Hakim / Palestine-U.S.A
23/06/2013 00:05
Congratulations.

3 ) Ibrahim Obeidallah / USA
23/06/2013 00:08
تهانينا القلبية لك ولجميع أهل فلسطين في كل مكان

4 ) Ramez / Haifa, Palestine
23/06/2013 00:23
Mabrouk Assaf. You made all of your people happy. From haifa to gaza to ramallah to nazareth to nablus to bethlehem to akka to khalil to tabariye to bisan to tul karem to jericho to yafa to jenin, to safad to qalqilya to ramleh to Jerusalem, to lydd to naqab to every city and village in Palestine and to wherever our exiled people live. Thank u all the arabs who voted for Assaf. PALESTINE, SYRIA, MOROCCO, ALGERIA, TUNISIA, QATAR, EGYPT, KSA, LEBANON, IRAQ, UAE, KUWAIT, LYBIA, YEMEN, OMAN, JORDAN

5 ) Aksel Evensen / Norway
23/06/2013 00:32
Congratulations, Assaf! Unfortunately, I didn't understand what you were singing, though, feelings doesn't need words to be expressed. Free Palestine.

6 ) Malone / Hfx
23/06/2013 00:36
Wow...the best thing in pallywood..a singer..and their mindless,backward,7th century clerics condemn him as un islamic...of course maan neglected to mention that.

7 ) S?leyman Nizamani / USA
23/06/2013 00:36
Congratulations to the Rocket from Khan Yunis! You also have fans here in the US! <3

8 ) Nour / Palestine
23/06/2013 00:41
A shining star is born, and will shine for decades to come! Mabrook Mohammad and Mabrook Palestine! I hope his art will add to national reconciliation and inspire the youth to use art to unify people.

9 ) Ariella / USA
23/06/2013 00:50
Allahu Akbar Ya Falastine!!!! I can't contain my tears! CONGRATUALATIONS Mohammed Assaf!!!!

10 ) Zainab / UK
23/06/2013 01:00
Alfa mabruk ye Mohammad Assaf, wa alfa mabruk aley kuli Filasteen (A thousand congratulations to Mohammed Assaf & a thousand congratulations to the whole of Palestine). Ma shah Allah (with the Will of Allah) what a wonderful victory Allah has given to Palestine. Mohammed Assaf from Gaza resisted oppression & overcame so much, using the gift Allah gave him for the good of Palestine. Not only has Mohammed Assaf won Arab Idol, but in shah Allah he will be the first Palestinian Ambassador to the UN.

11 ) Claudia / Argentina
23/06/2013 01:12
we will so happy if he can came in Argentina we will make all possible for this dream. Congratulation !!! Salam

12 ) DENISE SHOMALY / CHILE
23/06/2013 03:04
A fair and long-waited recognition that enlightens the Arab World and Palestine, in particular. An apparently shy man, which reveals a humble attitude that in turn reveals greatness. This is a tribute to all palestinian population under a criminal occupation. The world must know that he is not he only but one of many. Palestinians have excelled in all endeavours, and this time it came from the arts, music. My deepest congratulations.

13 ) Mel / USA
23/06/2013 03:41
Oh well done! Congratulations!Bravo Palestine &Moh'd Assaf! How wonderful &well deserved. The next great news should be the end to Israel's occupation/blockade & Palestine's NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE. Palestine sure as heck DESERVES IT! Bless you Palestine.

14 ) Hassanjabri / Morocco
23/06/2013 03:44
Been watching this show since the beginning . Honestly you deserve what you got.congratulation from the rest of my family and the Moroccan country

15 ) Aref Assaf / USA
23/06/2013 04:08
Alf mabrook. Congrats to Mohammad Assaf, his family and his fans. His drive and humility,, his talent and his excellent demeanor are all marks of stardom. Hope he fulfills his dreams.

16 ) yunis zujur / Venezuela
23/06/2013 05:51
I am glad for this palestinian achivement.

17 ) Haifa / USA
23/06/2013 06:20
I'm a very proud Palestinian, proud that a strong determined palestinian voice came out loud and clear!! Mohammad Assaf we Palestinians thank you for putting a smile on our face,hope in our hearts and much happiness in our homes!

18 ) How can a man from GAZA / BE AMBASSADOR
23/06/2013 07:44
of the West Bank? can someone explain that? Gaza is Hamastan and is considered a TERRORIST ORGANIZATION

19 ) LOURDES SOFIA / CUBA
23/06/2013 12:06
Your voice as nightingales , raised at the top of the universe and descended to get many hearts in Latin America . Thanks for fondle our senses ,, Long life Palestine

20 ) Peter Franzen / United Kingdom
23/06/2013 15:56
Mobruk.
Long Live Palestine

21 ) Tibi / Tubas
23/06/2013 16:16
In his home state of Hamastan, most sing about killing Jews, and few if any about living in peace with Jews (likely due to fear of being murdered), so most likely Assaf will be more of a "BADwill UN ambassador", and should this prove to be the real situation, likely Assaf will not be granted a visa by Israel, to later perform three shows in West Bank cities.

22 ) Samer / Haifa, Palestine
23/06/2013 18:21
#21,#18 and #16 =the same zionist mentally ill person. A palestinian from gaza or anywhere else can be an ambassador for not only the westbank but for haifa, jerusalem, tiberias and anywhere in Palestine. And # 6, it was one mufti who said that and he was refuted. Your rabbis always make such statements and even worse statements so whats your point exactly? And maan did report about that in a diffirent article. Silly zionist. You want to focus on one mufti & ignore the million other palestinians

23 ) @ Hilde-1 / Beautiful Voices
23/06/2013 19:14
Such "BEAUTIFUL VOICES" SHOULD SING Beautiful Things, and May it be His will, for a call to go forth FOR LIVING IN PEACE, and May He protect Assaf, so that he survives to call for talks unconditionally, so as to lead to negotiations, peace for Israel, and statehood for Palestine. - Amen

24 ) maria eugenia abugattas / Peru
24/06/2013 21:01
mabruk i am from lima Peru and also a Palestinian and proud of it ! God Bless you and our country!

25 ) Julius / Poland
25/06/2013 12:04
Congratulations!

26 ) Tissa / Sri Lanka
28/06/2013 12:07
Congratulations. Palestine has gems.
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