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Assaf’s victory teemed with references to Al Aqsa, martyrs, Palestine as the Arab mother– and ‘every free human’

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Mohammed Assaf (photo:AFP)

The centrality of Palestine’s place in the hearts of everyone throughout the Arab world was a manifest theme throughout the final episode of Arab Idol. After Mohammed Assaf gave his acceptance speech (full transation below) the presenter congratulated Assaf and announced the Lebanese star Assi Hillani wanted to give Mohammed the trophy personally. Listen to his words “Palestine is the mother of the Arab world”:

(10:36)

Congratulations Mohammed, you deserve it, and congratulation for Palestine, but I also want to add congratulations for the Arab world, because Palestine is the mother of the Arab world, congratulations to all Arabs, because Mohammed is an Arab artist, not just Palestinian. I salute all the contestants.

And check out the incredible lyrics in Mohammed Assaf’s ‘winner’s song‘, his last performance on Arab Idol. Immediately prior to Assaf being declared the winner, the announcer stated (1:35) all three contestants had practiced the ‘winner’s song’ , but that “only one of you will sing the song that was written by [Lebanese] poet Nizar Francis.” Here’s the song with Francis’s lyrics, music by Issam Kamal:

Oh, world witness me…I never bowed to the aggressor

People of the Dad ( dad ض is the only unique Arabic letter, you don’t find a similar letter in any language, so there is a term language of the Dad or people of the Dad meaning Arabic or Arabs)

You should unite through your pain

People of the Dad … you should unite through your pain

Hardships are plenty…and we never meet

O Arabs..wake up..and Arabism.. be renewed

Oh , world witness me…I never bowed to the aggressor

Palestine..my mother… you who live in my blood

Palestine..my mother… you who live in my blood

If I miss my people…your bosom enfolds me

It’s written by the Free…fire needs fire

It’s written by the Free…fire needs fire

The Dar ( home, homeland) is our Dar…and say it with a loud voice

and Arabism.. be renewed

Oh , world witness me…I never bowed to the aggressor

People of the Dad…you should unite through your pain

I sang you with my voice with my silence and quietness

I sang you with my voice with my silence and quietness

My life is for you, my death is cheap for you

Oh wounded Aqsa ( the mosque)…you are never away from my mind

OH wounded Aqsa ( the mosque)…you are never away from my mind

As Long I am breathing…Jerusalem you are my destination

and Arabism.. be renewed

Oh , world witness me…I never bowed to the aggressor

People of the Dad…you should unite through your pain

Hardships are plenty…and we never meet

O Arabs..wake up..and Arabism.. be renewed

During his performances, the camera will pan at his mother, with her head scarf and traditional Palestinian dresses; she will always look moved by her son’s singing, saying sprayers, tears in her eyes, while his father will sit there stoic and silent. Mohammed Assaf will always look for her in the audience, smiling after he finishes one of his amazing performances as if to tell her to rejoice at his triumph. He carries his emotions on his sleeves, just like his mother, both from a beautiful emotional bond and they are not afraid to show it in public.

And when Assaf sings and talks about Palestine, he uses language that is tender and loving just like the one he uses when he talks about his mother. He talks about Palestine where it’s normal to sing and dance in the streets, where the will to resist oppression and fight injustice does not mean you can’t enjoy Dabkeh, Ataba and Mijana.

And finally, here is the complete translation of Mohammed Assaf’s acceptance speech: (8:04)

Mohammed Assaf: Please allow me to say something, let me salute all the people who voted for me, from the ocean to the gulf, let me thank my people the Palestinian people. The struggling amazing people, who have been suffering for more than 60 years from the occupation and is still suffering, I salute them every where, in Gaza, in the West Bank, in Ramallah, in the 1948, in the diaspora, in Lebanon, everywhere.

I dedicate this win to the Palestinian people, I dedicate it to the souls of the martyrs, martyrs of the Palestinian revolution, I dedicate it to every free human, I dedicate it to the prisoners, the wounded, to all Palestinians *( he pauses at 8:58 and shakes his head as if he can’t believe what is happening), and the Arab world.  Please believe me that from the first moment I came to the program, I never imagined for moment that I would reach the final, honestly, but this is all due to God’s good well, I thank you all, I have no words to thank you enough, I thank all the people who helped reach here. I thank the judges, Ragheb Alames, Nancy, Queen Ahlam, Hassan Shafie. I thank the program’s producer Mr Hussien Jaber, I thank Eli Al Alia ( the music director, he turns towards the band and puts his hand on his head, a gesture of deep deep gratitude at 9:48). I thank all the contestants, and I thank the Hajja( the one who performed hajj) ..

My mother, you are on my head yamma and yabba( Palestinian dialect of the middle classes for mom and dad) , May god keep you the crown of my head, without your prayers , I am not here…

For one night our mother Palestine sang with us, for love, for hope, for dreaming big, for jumping over fences, for success…she embraced us, and we cried from joy and happiness.

(Previous MW coverage about Mohammed Assaf here, here, here, here here, Mohammed Assaf IS Arab Idol!!! and here. )

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Enass & Annie thank you so very much. My heart is full of joy and wonder. I so respect Mohammed for his love for his mother, his father, his Palestine, the Arab people and God.

Thank you, Mondoweiss.

Thank you MW for covering this story, while it gets practically nothing from the MSM.

Mohammed is amazing and his speech was very moving.

“the camera will pan at his mother, with her head scarf and traditional Palestinian dresses; she will always look moved by her son’s singing, saying sprayers, tears in her eyes, while his father will sit there stoic and silent” As ANY mother would for her son in such a context.… Read more »

“Palestine is the mother of the Arab world”(Assi Hillany) Not really; from the way Palestine has been getting kicked around for the past 60 years, a more appropriate description would be “the orphan of the Arab world”. Talk is cheap. Hopefully Mohammed Assaf will succeed in waking up the Palestinians… Read more »

Thanks again for your brilliant coverage Annie and Enass.