2017 Arab Idol Winner Yacoub Shaheen, UNICEF run for children at Palestine …


2017 Arab Idol Winner Yacoub Shaheen, UNICEF run for children at Palestine Marathon

BETHLEHEM,
March 22, 2018 – The 2017 Arab Idol Winner Yacoub Shaheen and children and
adolescents coming from across the State of Palestine joined forces today to
give the sixth international Palestine Marathon a rousing send off.

The
singer and 13 children coming from marginalized communities across Palestine
performed a new song before joining the race in support of children’s rights.

The
children, who had travelled from different communities of the West Bank,
including East

Jerusalem,
sang the new song ‘Dreams alone are not enough’ together with Shaheen on the
stage of Manger Square in Bethlehem minutes before the Marathon started.

Shaheen,
who grew up in the city, came to show support to children’s rights and promote
healthy lifestyles.

“Everyone
knows that exercise is good for you,” said Shaheen. “Today is also about having
fun, singing and running with children and many other people, it is a great
experience,” he added.

Many
Palestinian girls and boys lack the chance to access quality learning and grow
through sport and play, robbing them of some of the most important experiences
of childhood. Insecurity, lack of adequate facilities and structured activities
all impact on children’s opportunities to be more active.

“We’re
here today with our own children to run for children in the State of
Palestine,” said Genevieve Boutin, UNICEF’s Special Representative State of
Palestine. “For children and youngpeople still developing, the physical and
mental benefits of sport and play set the foundation for healthy development
and life-long learning. It also gives them an opportunity to express themselves
in a positive setting,” she added.

The
song, ‘Dreams alone are not enough’, which was composed especially for the
event, includes lyrics written by 19 children in Gaza and the West Bank,
including East Jerusalem. Its concept was developed by the pop star, Shaheen.

The
six children living in Gaza were not able to travel to Bethlehem and meet their
Idol due to permit-related issues.

“I
felt important when I came to this studio to record the song,” said Obada, a
16-year old boy from Hebron. “When I grow up, I want to be like Yacoub
Shaheen.”

After
performing the song, Shaheen, the children and UNICEF staff joined the race to
express their support for children’s rights.

UNICEF
works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most
disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every
child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information
about UNICEF and its work for children visit
www.unicef.org.

T.R.

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