Palestinian singer Mohammad Assaf has enjoyed widespread popularity throughout the Arab World after his exhilarating win on Arab Idol in the second season. Known for singing Arabic love songs and traditional Palestinian patriotic hymns, Assaf has become not only a singing idol, but a political symbol of the Palestinian people. Hailing originally from the Gaza strip, the obstacles Assaf faced to participate in Arab Idol were not few, but he prevailed. Now, he has been offered diplomatic standing by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, in addition to being made the first UNWRA Regional Youth Ambassador for Palestinian refugees.
In accordance with the 20th Annual World Cup, Assaf was formally invited by President of FIFA, Joseph Blatter, to host and perform with Shakira at the opening ceremony in Brazil. Unfortunately, the invitation was revoked due to the young Palestinian star’s political standing and beliefs. This action was then countered by his invitation to perform at the opening ceremony of the 64th Congress of FIFA, on Tuesday, June 10th, also held in Brazil.
Assaf will be supporting the Algerian team in this year’s World Cup, which will represent the entire Arab world in one of the foremost sporting events in the world.
The singer encouraged fans to participate in the composition of his newest song, Assaf360, by suggesting lyrics on Twitter via hash tag #Assaf360. The song was then recorded and produced in a live 24-hour session in Dubai last Tuesday with American music producer Rodney Jerkins. The song, which seamlessly combined Western and traditional Oriental musical styles, was produced by Platinum Records and created for performance at the World Cup. All profits from the song will go to UNWRA to support Palestinian refugees.
Despite all political and social struggles the singer faces, he proves resilient.
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