To grasp the impact Mohammed Assaf is having on the Arab world and beyond, watch this CNN coverage of Assaf’s victory. Thus far, it’s the best video of the moment. On Arab Idol’s stage, Mohammed Assaf is announced the winner and drops to his knees and prays while the audience goes wild with confetti falling all around (we referenced this incredible moment here).
Update: Here is video of Assaf apparently arriving today at Cairo airport to a scrum of photographers.
There may be a few of our readers who just don’t get what the big deal is about. CNN hosts Jonathan Mann with CNN Mohammed Jamjoon reporting from Beirut discuss the implications of Assaf’s victory. Jamjoon calls this “the feel good story of the year” and talks about how it resonates even wider than the Middle East, in a post-Arab Spring world. The hosts interviewed both Assaf and Nancy Ajram.
Says Assaf: ” The Palestinian people can speak in a million languages full of beauty, love and peace to the Arab world and to the whole world, the Palestinian people don’t love wars and killing and destruction.”
Ajram on why the show was so special, offers this shocker: “We in the Arab world have bright young talented people and we know how to dream big. ”
CNN also interviews a Palestinian on the street: “this is the best thing that’s happened to Palestine since God knows when.”
As Allison Deger noted, “I’ve never before heard the phrase ‘while Palestinians partied,’ on network news, unless it was about 9/11 or something.”
And here is an AlJazeera interview with Mohammed Assaf , his intentions are clear. Fourteen seconds in:
The revolution is not just the one carrying a rifle, the revolution is the paintbrush of an artist, the scalpel of a surgeon, the ax of a farmer. This is something I consider to be logical. Everyone struggles for their cause in the way they see fit. Today I represent Palestine and today I’m fighting for a cause also thru the art I am performing and the message that I am sending out.
Arab Idol has added an infographic at their website featuring the coverage of Mohammad Assaf’s victory in headlines from around the world. Check it out.
(Enass Tinah contributed to this report)