The Palestinian Mohammad Assaf wins the Arab Idol content.
Yes, its just Arab Idol, but as the Palestinians takes the crown, and as millions watching listen, stand, cheer and are bought to tears at the song that Assaf sang – in praise if the struggle, the longing, the determination to never surrender, we witnessed the courage, strength and sheer humanity of perhaps the bravest people in the world.
Assaf’s final performance, broadcast live to millions of viewers in the Arab world and the diaspora on Friday night, was a powerful, celebratory rendition of his signature song, Raise Your Keffiyeh, Raise It.
Yes, raise it…with pride. We will take the small victories and these moments when we can dream. And hold on to them with all our hearts and souls. For a brief moment, Assaf dances the dabka – an amazing, powerful Arabic dance. I witnessed one at a wedding in Gaza in 2006. Under the eyes of Israeli gun towers on Salahaddin Gate, a group of young men celebrated their friend’s wedding, and the very fact of being Palestinian and standing. A video of a Palestinian dabka can be seen here – pay attention to the amazing footwork of the soloist
Yes, its only a dance. Yes, its only Arab Idol. But each dance, each song, each word, and each breath ensures that Palestine lives, and remains alive not just in the lives and struggles of the Palestinians, but in the consciousness and concern of all the rest of us.
To Palestine. Till Palestine.