Friday, June 21, 2013

Will Mohammad Assaf Win The Arab Idol Title Today?

Arab Idol is wrapping its second season and there are three very fine voices vying for the title. They are all great and entertaining. Aside from their talent, among them, I ask who has generated the most media attention in Arabia and around the world? A hint, he is also the one with the most views on YouTube, and the most votes as told to us till now.

Assaf represents a welcome fresh breeze in these turbulent times, when Palestinians are frustrated by occupation and partisan politics. Moreover, he has shown the world a different face of Gaza. When Arabs used to think of the besieged enclave, they would feel pity for “these poor people,” or think of “tough resistance,” “hot spicy food,” “conservative people” and such.

Assaf somehow has managed to make Gaza look cool, and not just a place down on its luck. He has proven that there are good-looking people in Gaza, and that there are guys who are unafraid to show tender emotions such as love (to which his legions of female fans attest!). He’s introduced a different take on patriotism and national pride. Most of all, he is a living example that true talent has no home and can emerge from the harshest circumstances.

There is not much the average Arab man or woman can do to uplift the spirit of a people living under occupation; by voting for Assaf, however, people throughout the Arab world could send a personal, if symbolic, message to Gaza. Even the Israeli army spokesperson who speaks to the Arabic-language press has shared on social media that he follows Assaf and likes his voice. Assaf wrote back that the Israeli official’s love brings no honor to him as the occupier continues to grab Palestinian land and hold Palestinians prisoner.

Mohammed Assaf comes from an average Palestinian home and has struggled just like everyone else in Gaza. Yet he refused to give up and limit his dreams to getting a visa to some European country. Home videos show him singing as a little boy—and today he is the talk of millions who have happily surrendered their hearts to him.

P.S. I will be surprised if the title goes home with Farah Yousef,

Arab Idol - حلقة نتائج التصويت - محمد عساف


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