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X-Factor Winner Rose Fostanes Gains Visa To Launch Personal Career As Singer In Israel



Rose Fostanes / Courtesy Reshet

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Last week Phillipine care giver Rose Fostanes won the Israeli version of the X-Factor, hosted here by top model Bar Rafaeli.

It was very much a story of courage, determination and a huge talent, one with a fittingly romantic conclusion.

Rose Fostanes never expected to win, she just wanted her chance to become a singer and to follow her dream.

Thousands of Israelis latched on to her dream emotionally, and cheered on her progress through to the finals where they voted for her to bring her the prize.

Shiri Maimon, a famous Israeli singer who was one of the judges had said afterwards “I wanted Rose to win. She’s amazing, I really want her life to change, she’s a great singer.” Shiri, who is a great singer herself had become rose’s mentor all the way through the contest.

Well as with all dreams we wake up the next morning, and when Rose woke up the next morning it was, for the moment at least, back to her postage stamp sized shared apartment in South Tel Aviv, and back to the drudgery of taking care of the lady she is employed by – who had by the way very kindly given her the month off to compete in the X-Factor.

The bureaucrats soon stepped in as well, with the Ministry of the Interior quickly reminding anyone who might think otherwise that Rose was only in the country on a care giver’s visa. As a result she could not even try to make a living as a singer, even part time, without facing possible deportation back to the Philippines.

But Rose’s story continued to resonate with ordinary Israelis and that’s when politicians are quick to get the message. So today Interior Minister Gideon Saar issued a statement saying he had decided to allow Fostanes to work as an artist.
The minister “ordered the population and immigration authority to grant Rose Fostanes permission to work as a singer in Israel, ” the statement said.

“Minister Saar decided to agree to her request and allow her a work permit as an artist, ” it said, noting such permission was subject to the agreement of the family she had been working for.

The Population Registry head gave Fostanes, a Philippines citizen, two options: to continue nursing the woman for whom she cares for while being allowed to sing for only a limited number of hours, or to forego caregiving for a full work permit given to artists wanting to work in their field.
After consulting with the family that employs her, Fostanes has chosen the second option.

It will still not be easy; having a great voice is one thing, building a viable career will still take a lot of hard work, especially in a foreign land. But Rose, or “Shoshana” as we call her name in Hebrew seems to be completely up for it.



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