Tens of thousands in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and even Israeli cities celebrated the victory of the young Gazan singer, Mohammed Assaf, in “Arab Idol.”
I’ve been fascinated by the global Idol phenomenon for some time. I even wrote an article using American Idol to discuss the ideas of Marx and Tocqueville (see “Marx, Tocqueville, and American Idol”), an exercise I used in some intro courses as a short writing assignment.
Btw, if you’re interested in a really interesting look at the intersection of Idol and politics, check out the 2009 documentary Afghan Star.
In the long run, I suspect Arab Idol will have a more transformative effect on the region than any concerted diplomatic efforts by Western powers.