Palestinian singer Mohamad Assaf responds to Israeli occupation army spokesperson Avichay Adraee’s ‘lies’

Palestinian singer Mohamad Assaf, a finalist in the Arab Idol TV show has responded to the Israeli occupation army spokesperson Avichay Adraee denying the allegation that he faced pressure to withdraw from the competition by the Hamas government in Gaza. According to Quds news Assaf wrote an angry response on Avichay Adraee’s Facebook page saying he regretted being forced to visit Adraee hateful page which reeked of lies and deception, but he felt he needed to respond.

Assaf wrote that neither him nor his family were threatened or pressured to withdraw and he pointed to how his pictures are hung everywhere in Gaza as proof that the people in Gaza support him. Assaf also responded to Adraee’s comment about him having a ‘brilliant’  voice saying what would really be ‘brilliant’ is if you stop killing our children and stop occupying our land so that our people can enjoy hearing our singing and not the sound of your bombs falling.

Translated from original article in Arabic which appeared at this link http://www.qudsn.ps/article/17585

Why song performed by Palestinian Arab Idol struck a chord with millions of viewers – English translation of lyrics included

In the song that qualified him for the Arab Idol competition, Palestinian singer Muhammad Assaf  from Gaza city sang ‘ya tair altayer’ flying bird.  This national song struck a chord with Palestinians and Arabs everywhere and the original video clip from the Arab Idol competition has gone viral with over a million viewers.  A new clip has just been posted on youtube with images of the Palestinian cities Assaf sang for (see new video below).  Assaf told reporters that he sees no line between his art and being patriotic.  He is right.  His song expresses a Palestinian wish for freedom and for the ability to see loved ones in other villages that are now no longer accessible.  It is a reminder that even though Palestinians are confined within their bantustans and behind Israel’s big walls and towers, they haven’t given up on the dream that one day they too will fly like a bird and see their homes,  villages and loved ones.

Oh flying bird

Going to my home

My eyes follow you

And God’s eyes protect you

Oh you traveller

I am so jealous

Palestine my homeland

She is beautiful praise be to God

Go by Safed

Go by Tabariyyah

Pass by Acre and Haifa

And say hello to the sea

Don’t forget Nazareth

This Arab fortress

And give Bisan the good news

Her people will return

My people on this land

Stood tall

History is proud of us

And history’s back was bent

From all the pain we suffered

But we are patient

Go to Gaza

And Kiss its soil

Her people are dignified

Her men are mighty

And go to Jerusalem

The capital

Al Aqsa its landmark

Inshallah God willing

We will gather there

Oh flying bird

Going to my home

My eyes follow you

And God’s eyes protect you

Oh you traveller

I am so jealous

Palestine my homeland

She is beautiful

Praise be to God

Ma’an: Palestinian Arab Idol finalist says Issawi an inspiration

Published today (updated) 22/04/2013 21:09
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Muhammad Assaf, a Palestinian finalist in the TV singing contest Arab Idol, says he is inspired by long-term hunger striker Samer Issawi and would trade winning the competition for the prisoner’s freedom.

“I am conveying Palestine’s message to the world, and if I had to choose between winning the Arab Idol title and the freedom of Samer Issawi, I would choose freedom for the Palestinian hero whose steadfastness is peerless and I can’t compare myself to it,” Assaf told Ma’an.

Speaking from Beirut, the singer from Gaza City said that he considers himself an “ambassador of Palestinian art,” who wants to convey a positive image of Palestinians, despite Israeli occupation and oppression.

Arab audiences are happy to see a Palestinian singing different genres of music rather than just patriotic songs, he said, adding that he has been receiving support from his fans in the Arab world.

Assaf says he has been moved by the plight of Palestinian prisoners, especially Samer Issawi who has been on hunger strike in Israeli detention for 265 days.

“Issawi has provided a model in the struggle which is too great to be imitated by artists, despite the fact that art has an element of resistance as it can deliver the message of a people under occupation to the whole world.”

“I can’t differentiate between my art and my patriotic attitude,” he added.

Assaf qualified on Friday for the final of MBC’s popular singing competition Arab Idol.

This article appeared in Ma’an News

Palestinian singer from Gaza qualifies for Arab Idol final

Palestinian singer from Gaza city Muhammad Assaf is one of 12 Arab singers who have made it into the final round of MBC’s popular singing competition Arab Idol performing the Palestinian song ‘Ya Teir el-Tayir’, ‘Oh Flying Bird’. Video of his performance  (below) has gone viral with over one million viewers.