Mohammed Assaf: The Pride of Palestine —
Hundreds and hundreds of Palestinians flooded the streets of Ramallah, Palestine to watch Mohammed Assaf be crowned 2013’s Arab Idol on a big screen TV in the marketplace.
The streets were completely filled that many straddled the rooftops of homes, shops and restaurants to catch the finale. Cheers and chants of “Assaf! Assaf!” and “Long Live Palestine!” pierced the air. Many young men and women waved Palestinian flags outside of their cars as they blared Assaf’s Arab Idol performances from their speakers.
Assaf, a 23-year-old Gaza Strip refugee camp native, has been a symbol of Palestinian solidarity and peace, from his initial hardships to his final victory. He has unified Palestinians in an occupied country and brought awareness to their struggles through supporting the Palestinian cause with his music.
Assaf helped put Palestine — a country that has time and time again been dismissed as occupied, meaningless land — back on the map, proving we are a true race and country. The hope, pride and strength of the Palestinians that he carries echoes through his voice.
And we all feel it in our hearts.