Sunday, February 28, 2016
Weekly Report 3: Arab Musician
For this article, I had to spend quite a lot of time just finding the article. In American newspapers, it would appear that Arab Musicians are incredibly overlooked throughout their world-view. I did happen upon an article about Mohammed Assaf, who is young, famous, and luckily for this report, was in the news. Two and a half years ago, June of 2013, he won the competition known as "Arab Idol" which is essentially American Idol for the Arab world. He was born in Libya and was raised in a very poor camp. Bare utilities were very hard to find for him at a young age. He actually snuck onto the television show, having had lots of trouble getting to Cairo where the auditions were being held, so he had to find a less than orthodox method of getting into the auditions. Another Palestinian actually had to give up his own opportunity so that Assaf could have his shot at glory. He won the competition, but instead of simply enjoying the music, people began trying to make it seem like he was doing it for political reasons. A Palestinian winner would look good for all Palestinians, so at one of the shows Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist organization, rallied to support him, which was not exactly what he desired for his career. Assaf stated later that he was not trying to be a political figure, just a musician, and that instead of supporting Palestine against others, that Palestinian music should be celebrated as just that: Palestinian music. Mohammed Assaf is a selfless singer, performing out of the goodness of his heart, trying to make oppressed people happy for a while.