Fans and journalists flocked to Cairo Airport to welcome the winner of the first season of MBC Arab Idol talent show, Egyptian singer Carmen Suleiman.
Suleiman, who beat Moroccan singer Donia Batma in the semi finals, won first place after reaping the largest number of viewers’ votes.
She was also received by her family and close friends who came to congratulate her on a much awaited victory.
After a three-month absence, Suleiman burst into tears as she saw the warm reception awaiting her upon her arrival in Cairo.
“I did not expect to get such an amazing reception and the Egyptian flag is the best gift I received at the airport,” she told Al Arabiya.
She also expressed how honored she is to win the title Arab Idol, yet admitted that her victory was quite a surprise.
“Even though I trusted my fans and all Egyptians, I did not expect to win.”
When asked about her future plans, Suleiman said she is planning to focus on her high school studies so that she can go to college.
“I will join the Music Institute in order to support my singing career with academic studies. This was my father’s advice.”
Suleiman said she hoped that she would be a singer for life and that she could one day become as successful as her role model Egyptian singer Sherine Abdel Wahab.
“I hope to sing my first duet with her; she is my favorite.”
Suleiman said that though she likes acting and loves being in front of the camera, she prefers singing.
“However, I would rather postpone decisions related to acting, but I do believe you can be successful in both acting and singing like many famous Egyptian stars.”
Suleiman said she was also touched by the numerous congratulations messages she received from Egyptian and Arab audience as well as from famous Egyptian singers on the social networking website Facebook.
She thanked all the people who supported her from Egypt and the Arab world.
“I am especially grateful for the campaign Egyptians launched to support me and for the encouraging feedback I got when I was in Lebanon from Egyptian and Arab journalists.”
Suleiman said she signed a contract with Platinum Records, which she said she trusts a lot with her career, to produce her music albums.
“I promise my listeners the best music and to live up to their expectations as soon as I finish high school,” she said.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)