Mohammed Assaf wins Arab Idol

Gazan former refugee takes region's most glittering talent show prize.
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Gazan singer Mohammed Assaf won this year's Arab Idol singing contest final in Beirut on Saturday night, sparking huge celebrations across palestine and the occupied territories.

The 22-year-old would-be pop star, who hails from from humble roots in a refugee camp endeared millions of voting television viewers with his Palestinian patriotic anthems and folk songs.

Even Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas was keen to hitch a ride on the Assaf train, perhaps slightly overstating the importance of Assaf's achievements when he noted: "This win is a source of pride and a victory for our people on the road to achieving its dream of establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital."

After the victory Assaf was named by the UN as its first youth ambassador to Palestinian refugee camps in the territories and neighbouring countries. He is expected to visit the West Bank to perform.

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