Tens of thousands of joyous fans have taken to the streets of the Gaza Strip to welcome the winner of “Arab Idol” song contest.
22-year-old Mohammed Assaf hails from humble roots in a Gaza refugee camp and has endeared millions of television viewers with his Palestinian patriotic anthems and folk songs.
Police struggled to hold back crowds that waited eagerly for his uplifting words.
“The most important thing is unity. We are one nation and I hope I have united the homeland through my songs at ‘Arab Idol’,” said the singer.
Since his moment of victory in the popular pan-Arab competition in Beirut on Saturday, Assaf has kept largely silent about his future plans but he has already been named by the United Nations as its first youth ambassador to Palestinian refugee camps in the territories and in neighbouring countries.