(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
GAZA - Palestinians took to the streets to celebrate the victory of their compatriot Yaqoub Shaheen on Saturday in "Arab Idol," a hugely popular Middle East television talent show on the Dubai-based channel MBC1.
This year's final, filmed in Lebanon, was between a Yemeni, Ammar Mohammed, as well as Palestinian and Arab-Israeli competitors, Shaheen from Bethlehem and Ameer Dandan from the northern Israeli town of Majd al-Krum but resident in the United States.
After he was named as the winner, Shaheen performed a patriotic song while wearing the Palestinian flag on his shoulders, singing the line: "My pledge and my oath, my blood is Palestinian."
In Gaza and the West Bank thousands of people had filled restaurants and street coffee shops, many of them having reserved their seats in advance, in order to watch the final on large public screens.
"It is a national day. A national historic day for Palestine," said Mohammed Abu Ali, 40, sitting with his wife and three children in a cafe in Gaza watching the final.