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 confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals. UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724