Tens of thousands of Palestinians packed the streets of Gaza Strip on Wednesday to greet Mohammed Assaf, who won the title of “Arab Idol”, a song talent show telecast over the past three months by the Saudi-owned MBC television channel.
Assaf, 23, beat scores of competitors before he was shortlisted with Ahmed Al Jamal of Egypt and Farah Yousuf of Syria. A public vote through the Arab region picked Assaf on Saturday night and MBC sources said he got nearly 60 million votes.
Assaf lives in the Palestinian refugee camp of Khan Yunus in Gaza and his parents and other relatives were present during the last Arab Idol show in Beirut.
Palestinian newspapers said Assaf was taken to a hotel owned by local businessman Muneeb Al Masri in the occupied West Bank after pouring crowds to Gaza crossing created pandemonium and prompted Hamas fighters to shoot in the air.
A U-Tube film showed the crowds carried Palestinian flag while a Palestinian patriotic song sung by Assaf at the MBC show reverberated through the place.