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'Arab Idol' Winner Hazem Sharif Refuses To Carry National Flag Of Syria During Victory Celebration

15/12/2014 15:37 GMT | Updated 15/12/2014 15:59 GMT

While Ben Haenow has been celebrating winning 'X Factor' in the UK, there's been an equally significant musical victory a bit further afield.

Arab Idol has announced this year's winner, Hazem Sharif, who's broken with tradition by refusing to carry his country's flag during his victory celebration.

arab idol

Hazim Sharif has won this year's Arab Idol title, but wants his victory to be apolitical

Hazem, from Syria, explained that he didn't want to appear to be taking sides in the civil war engulfing his country.

"I am 21 years old, and I don't want my art to be connected to politics," he said.

Hazam also ditched his national colours when he won the title on Saturday, although he did dedicate his winners' song to Syria.

This goes against the custom of previous winners to wave their national flags in victory. Only last year, Palestinian Mohammad Assaf of Gaza wore his flag on a scarf - pictures below:

Arab Idol Victory Gets Gaza Going

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