Saudi Plots

Mix-sex entertainment concerts raises anger in KSA

The publication of a video of a mixed-sex concert featuring dance and music on social media has sparked widespread controversy among Saudi citizens, activists and media.

The tweeters circulated a video they described as a shock of a mixed-sex ceremony in the Kingdom, which showed scenes that were never imagined to the Saudis as well as the actual occurrence on the territory of the Kingdom.

The widely circulated video showed young men and women dancing side by side to the rhythms of Western pop music, in a scene that upset many Saudis who expressed their rejection of bin Salman’s policy of blurring the religious identity of the state by claiming emancipation and openness.

Others stressed that what the wise people in the Kingdom had warned of and feared that the Kingdom would reach it after ten years, happened in ten months since Turki Al-Sheikh assumed the presidency of the entertainment authority because of the successive moral shocks received by the people in their values.

Activists attributed the sudden emergence of these scenes in the Kingdom and its peculiar spread, due to the absence of censorship and the reduction of the powers of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

These activists also see the expansion of the authority’s activities and activities as “contributing to the transformation of the Kingdom into a hotbed of moral transgressions”.

The Kingdom has witnessed an intense artistic activity by bringing in singers from outside the Kingdom, after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman established the “Entertainment Authority”, and reduced the powers of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, last year, and lifting restrictions on holding concerts.

In his attempt to change the KSA, Mohammed bin Salman has imposed a new and unprecedented state in his country’s society since his inauguration in June 2017.

The activities of the General Authority for Entertainment represented by its President Turki Al-Sheikh triggered a crisis within the Shura Council after a number of members criticized the dances and the use of controversial international teams.

The Shura Council, the General Chairman of the “Entertainment Authority”, Turki Al-Sheikh, demanded that the events be sensitive to the identity of the Kingdom, in accordance with the rules and regulations in force in the country.

The official news agency, the Assistant Chairman of the Council, Yahya al-Samaan, confirmed that there are many observations from members about the annual report submitted by the “Entertainment Authority”.

Al-Samaan did not clarify the nature of the remarks and opinions made by members of the Shura Council in their undisclosed sessions, but it does indicate a rejection of some activities organized by the Commission.

In its recommendations, the Shura Council called on the Entertainment Authority to cooperate with the private sector to develop a plan to operate amusement parks in all areas where there are no amusement parks.

The Council stressed the importance of studying the support of recreational activities of a local nature for each region, and the involvement of parents in the design of programs and sustainable events.

He stressed the need to “take into account the needs of each segment and region, and the suitability of fees to the target audience, and study the investment opportunities and jobs provided by and will be provided by the entertainment sector.”

Observers believe that the Shura Council completely ignored the issue of dances and controversial foreign bands, which indicates the rejection of members, while stressing the importance of holding events that the Saudi citizen wants.

Bin Salman supported a series of decisions to abandon a number of official laws and customs adopted by the country for decades, most notably allowing women to drive, as well as access to football stadiums, as well as a fashion show and the opening of cinemas.

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