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Arab Idol's Mohammad Assaf thanks Palestinian fans

June 13, 2013 10:21 A.M. (Updated: June 21, 2013 10:25 P.M.)
BEIRUT (Ma'an) -- Mohammad Assaf on Wednesday thanked his fans in Palestine for supporting him as he prepared for the final stages of the Arab Idol singing competition.

Assaf is one of four finalists in the hit show, broadcast on MBC, and has become a household name and a source of pride in Palestine.

The 23-year-old singer thanked everyone who voted for him and supported him despite the difficult economic situation in Palestine.

"If I keep thanking you forever it is never enough," Assaf said in an interview in Beirut, 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.

Assaf has received phone calls from President Mahmoud Abbas and former Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, congratulating him on his success in the competition.

The president on Sunday urged Palestinian communities across the world to vote for Assaf, who is the first Palestinian to reach the finals of the pan-Arab show.

Abbas instructed the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs to contact international Palestinian embassies to mobilize support for the Arab Idol star.

After the competition, Assaf says he will first return to his home in the Gaza Strip, but he will later perform three shows in West Bank cities.

He denied reports that he has been threatened by the Hamas-run government in Gaza, or by any Hamas leader, over his participation in Arab Idol.

Assaf said he had received only encouragement from Gaza, and that his parents and friends told him his posters were plastered on streets in the enclave.

The final Arab Idol show will air on June 21, and the winner will be announced the next day.

Jawwal phone subscribers can vote for Assaf by texting "3" to 37892. Wataniya subscribers can text "3" to 6752.

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