Arab Idol winner Mohammed Assaf has been granted permission to move from the Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza to the West Bank in Israel. The 23 year old, who won the TV talent show in June (13), has lived in the facility since he was four, but now, thanks partly to his success on the programme, he, his sister, brother-in-law and the couple's three children have been given approval to relocate after a request was made by the Palestinian Authority.
Assaf was the first Palestinian to win the competition, making him a national hero and earning him the title of honorary ambassador from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas In June (13).
United Nations officials also made Assaf a youth ambassador.
With the relocation, Assaf will now be able to travel freely.
The Palestinian winner of TV contest Arab Idol has been named a United Nations special ambassador. Mohammed Assaf became the first Palestinian to win the show on Saturday (22Jun13) and a day later, he added a new title after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made the singer an honorary ambassador.
U.N. officials also made Assaf a youth ambassador.
The singer has lived at the Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza since he was four.
His TV victory was celebrated in the streets of the West Bank and Gaza on Saturday as fans and countrymen alike gathered to watch the final episode of Arab Idol on big screens. Fireworks lit up the sky when he was announced as the winner.
The Manhattan district attorney's office declined to prosecute the son of former morning television host Bryant Gumbel who was arrested on Thursday on purse snatching charges, Reuters reports. Both the prosecutor and the defense attorney for Bradley Christopher Gumbel, 24, said that he would be released from jail where he had been held since his arrest. "I have just been informed that the prosecutor has declined to prosecute Bradley at this time. No charges are pending against him," said Benjamin Brafman, Gumbel's lawyer. "We believe by the end of the day, the matter will be dropped," he added. The young Gumbel was accused of swiping a 31-year-old woman's purse as she walked along Manhattan's posh Upper East Side and fleeing, police said.
Canadian pop diva Celine Dion's palatial Florida home is up for sale, and the "king looking for a castle" will have to come up with $20 million to move in, Reuters reports. The mansion in Jupiter, near the swanky resort of Palm Beach, is being sold complete with furniture and other contents, including china, linens, wine, and artwork, said Rob Thomson, a partner with Waterfront Properties and Club Communities, which is handling the sale. "For a king looking for a castle, they are hard to find, but this one is a castle; it's fabulous," Thomson said on Thursday. The home, built four years ago by Dion and her husband, Rene Angelil, boasts 15,000 square feet of air-conditioned space as well as landscaped gardens and a pool.
NFL Films is providing a little fantasy relief for moviegoers who wish the guy sitting behind them would just shut up by producing a tongue-in-cheek, 75-second trailer that will run before movies on the 2,448 screens owned by Loews Cineplex Entertainment starting this weekend, according to Variety. In the spot, a loudmouth theater patron is yanked out of his seat by two ushers who drag him to a room where a judge determines his punishment. Michael Strahan of the New York Giants and Bruce Smith of the Washington Redskins play the ushers and former Baltimore Raven Tony Siragusa plays the judge. Tim Couch of the Cleveland Browns also has a role in the trailer, which is the highlight of a national promotion campaign called "Lights, Camera, Kickoff." An ESPN Sports polls show that NFL fans are 35% more likely to go to the movies every week than the rest of the U.S. population.
It's another accolade for director Martin Scorsese, who will become a Commander of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite--Morocco's highest honor-- at the second Marrakech Intl. Film Festival in September. Variety reports that the director will receive the honor from King Mohammed VI, who founded the event to provide a forum in North Africa for cultural exchange. Tributes will also be paid to director Francis Ford Coppola and Bollywood leading light Aamir Khan (producer and star of Lagaan) and filmmaker David Lynch.
Hope they remember to pack their capes: Former development executives-turned-screenwriters Lauren Iungerich and Brad Follmer have sold their pitch Superhero Summer Camp to Warner Bros. Pictures through Oscar-winning screenwriter/producer Akiva Goldsman's Weed Road Pictures, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Iungerich and Follmer will now tackle the screenplay, which will follow a group of misfit kids who go to summer camp and discover that it's a training ground for superheroes.
Keep your eye on the sparrow: AP reports Universal Studios Home Video plans to release episodes of Baretta, the 1970s detective series starring Robert Blake, on DVD this fall, even as Blake remains jailed on murder charges. The series ran from 1975 to 1978 and starred Blake as a streetwise police investigator who arrested thugs and crooks and had a pet cockatoo named Fred. Baretta creator Stephen J. Cannell said the DVD might attract interest due to "morbid curiosity…It might be because the show is back in the consciousness of America, given the notoriety of the Blake case." Baretta: Season One is set for release on Oct. 29.
Despite his thug-life image, rapper-turned-film star Eminem (the upcoming 8 Mile), 29, told MTV that fatherhood is the most important thing to him, according to People magazine. "I'm a father before anything," says the controversial music star, who has one daughter--six-year-old Hailie. "I'm a father before I pick up the mic. I'm a father before I'm Eminem. Of course I'm not the perfect parent. There may be things I'm doing wrong and I'll find out in 10, 15 years, but right now I'm doing the best job I can and that's all I can do." As for a Marshal Mathers IV? "No more kids," says the rapper. "I'm good with Hailie. I'll spoil her and give her everything I never had. I have other family members that I take care of and want to take care of, but as far as kids, I'm cool. No more, one is enough."