Pop-star Ricky Martin against anti-Arabian stereotypes

On his first visit to Middle East Pop star Ricky Martin told Arabian youngsters he would do everything possible to change public negative attitude to them.

The teenagers, aged 14 to 16, expressed concern about being labeled as "terrorists" by the West.

"I promise I will become a spokesperson, if you allow me to, a spokesperson on your behalf. I will defend you and try to get rid of any stereotypes," he told youngsters from 16 mainly Arab countries attending a youth conference. "I have been a victim of stereotypes. I come from Latin America and to some countries, we are considered 'losers,' drug traffickers, and that is not fair because that is generalizing," Martin was quoted as saying by the AP.

Martin, who is a United Nations Children's Fund Goodwill Ambassador, said he wanted to get to know the youth and their cultures better by spending time together. Martin planned to do a concert tour of the Mideast and North Africa, including Jordan and the Palestinian territories, tentatively scheduled for May 2006.

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