UNRWA Arab Idol Serenades World Cup Audiences with Unprecedented ‘Fan-written’ Song

04 June 2014
UNRWA Arab Idol Serenades World Cup Audiences with Unprecedented ‘Fan-written’ Song

East Jerusalem

Mohammed Assaf - Arab Idol winner, Palestine refugee and Regional Youth Ambassador for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has created World Cup history by creating the competition’s first ever ‘fan-written’ song. It was recorded in Dubai on 3 June.

Reflecting the World Cup spirit of hope, youthfulness and unity, the song was written, composed and recorded in one day. Starting on 25 May, fans and supporters around the world sent in their ideas and suggestions on Twitter and Facebook. During his live-streaming studio session, Assaf used their inspirational contributions as they came in from around the world. 

The 24-hour studio session brought Assaf together with Grammy-winning producer Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins, Lebanese producers Michael Fadl and Walid Al Fayed, and noted Arabic lyricist Nizar Francis to finalize the song.

Assaf will perform the song ‘Assaf360’, live for the first time on 10 June in São Paulo, Brazil, at the opening ceremony of the sixty-fourth FIFA Congress.

‘Assaf360’ will also be the anthem for the UNRWA Give for Food campaign. From the start of the World Cup until the end of Ramadan, UNRWA will be raising funds for food aid for some one million Palestine refugees who are unable to afford their basic minimum food requirements. All proceeds from the download of the song, via iTunes or Anghami+, will support the UNRWA campaign, helping “red card” hunger for food-insecure Palestine refugees.

The song is not Assaf’s only contribution to the Give for Food campaign. Until 17 June, supporters of the UNRWA campaign will be entered in a raffle to win World Cup prizes - five footballs and ten official jerseys - signed by our ambassador.

Visit the UNRWA website to learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get a glimpse of our supporters - including Mohammed Assaf. 

Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 69 million.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: 
+972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: 
+972 (0)2 589 0724

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