Press Release
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
June 19, 2013 - 12:00am
ATFP Expresses Pride in Mohammed Assaf, the Peaceful Palestinian "Rocket"
June 19, Washington DC – Noting the stellar performances of young Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf on the “Arab Idol” singing contest, the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) urges its friends and supporters to join us in voting for Assaf. Call the “Arab Idol” hotline and punch #3, or send a text message to this phone number: 011 882162277411 with the message reading simply 3.
ATFP strongly praises the young Palestinian singer, 23, for his astounding performances that have galvanized Palestinians and Arabs around the world and provided them with a rare sense of national pride and unity.
Dubbed by one of the judges in the contest “The Rocket,” referring to his skyrocketing rise to fame, Assaf was also described as "Justin Bieber-like" in the Christian Science Monitor, a source of Palestinian unity in the VOA, a boy-wonder in the Daily Beast, and a Palestinian dream in the Washington Post.
Assaf has become an important cultural phenomenon for Palestinians who are battling a crippling ongoing national division between the West Bank and Gaza in addition to more than 40 years of Israeli occupation. The young singer has been a rare and welcome source of pride and inspiration for Palestinians everywhere.
Assaf has drawn millions to admire his unparalleled talent, and the sheer beauty of his voice and performances. As ATFP warmly praises the impressive talents of the other contestants, it expresses special pride in Assaf for his towering performances and his inspiring role.
Assaf has been frequently compared to the late Egyptian and pan-Arab superstar Abdel Halim Hafez. Assaf was born in Libya to Palestinian parents from Gaza. After beginning singing publicly at a young age in Gaza, Assaf began winning numerous local contests before entering the Arab Idol contest. Through his performances, he has become not only a unique Palestinian national cultural phenomenon, but a pan-Arab and a global one as well.
Assaf has stated, “I can't differentiate between my art and my patriotic attitude,” and has been publicly backed by Pres. Mahmoud Abbas, former PM Salam Fayyad and PM Rami Hamdallah. Although he says he has surpassed almost unsurmountable obstacles on his road to stardom, he has not been deterred and enjoys unprecedented popularity in Gaza and throughout Palestine.
ATFP looks forward to June 21 when the three finalists will compete in Beirut, Lebanon for the Arab Idol title. We will be watching, hoping for the peaceful version of the Palestinian “rocket” to reach the artistic stratosphere.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017