Saturday, Aug. 01
Latest News
  1. Iraqi Kurdistan urges Turkey to halt PKK bombardment
  2. Bin Laden relatives killed in UK plane crash
  3. Five Libyan troops killed, 18 missing after 'IS attack'
  4. 'Qaeda' suicide bombing kills 9 in Yemen
  5. Al-Qaeda in Syria attacks US-trained rebel base
  6. Kerry sets off on Mideast trip to Egypt, Doha
  7. 12 killed in Colombia military plane accident
  8. 'PKK attack' kills 2 police in tense Turkey
  9. Local official: 10 killed in Boko Haram attack in Nigeria village
  10. Tunisia extends state of emergency by 2 months
  11. Erdogan slams claims of Turkey IS cooperation as 'black propaganda'
  12. Trial results: Vaccine offers 100% Ebola protection
  13. Abbas wants ICC to probe arson that killed Palestinian toddler
  14. WikiLeaks: US spied on Japan government, companies
  15. Female suicide bomber blows herself up in NE Nigeria market
  16. Libya's UN envoy to discuss peace plan with rival lawmakers
  17. Fears of humanitarian crisis in Serbia as refugees stream in
  18. Pentagon denies US-trained rebels captured in Syria
  19. Egypt, Saudi sign pact to boost military ties
  20. IMF approves $1.24 bn Iraq emergency lifeline

Assaf named goodwill UN ambassador

June 22, 2013 11:45 P.M. (Updated: June 26, 2013 12:20 P.M.)
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.

Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015