Artistic concerts in Saudi Arabia Entertainment opening or political polishing? | Politics and Economy -

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The American rapper Nicky Minag has announced her withdrawal from a planned concert in Saudi Arabia in support of women's and gay rights after a wide debate about her visit.

In the same week Minag announced the cancellation of its concert at the Jeddah Festival, the Korean Super Junior Band held a concert at the festival itself, the first Korean band to hold a concert of this kind in the Kingdom.

After hosting the famous Korean K-Pop band, which is accompanied by dance reviews, the director of the Saudi Entertainment Authority announced that they had joined up with another famous Korean band, BTS. The band is due to hold its first concert in Saudi Arabia in October.

The establishment of these concerts in Saudi Arabia raises questions about the leadership of the Kingdom, especially as it comes with the continued criticism of international organizations to Riyadh on human rights files.
After Nikki Minag was canceled for her concert, Amnesty International said in a chant that "it should be a reminder to the authorities to stop violating human rights both inside and outside the country."

Political and social goals

Saudi Arabia is holding activists on charges of human rights activism and communicating with foreign journalists and diplomats in a case that drew global attention after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his consulate in Istanbul last year.

"Music, pop culture and politics are united here," said Suzana Kolbel, a journalist for the German magazine Der Spiegel, who is familiar with the situation in Saudi Arabia.

"These concerts have a social function for young people to live like the rest of the world," she said. "They are happy and willing to breathe for themselves. There was nothing allowed in the kingdom."

"But they also have political aspects: to send clear signals to defeat extremism and to go to the West … These concerts are political because they broke the tradition that music was something to be condemned for."

Although Saudi Arabia's crown prince wants to make society open, says Kulil, she points out that Saudi Arabia "will not open up politically." It is clear that Saudi Arabia will remain a dictatorship that issues laws that can not be protested against, .

Controversy on networking sites

On social networking sites, Saudis are happy to hold concerts for Korean bands in Saudi Arabia, and they hope to continue.
"For the first time a concert will be held in Saudi Arabia for a Korean band," Reem wrote in a tweet on Twitter, "It will remain a beautiful memory that we will not forget about Super Junior.

Another singer points out that she never expected "Saudi Arabia to become a station for Korea's biggest artists," expressing her pleasure.

Some believe that the establishment of concerts by Korean bands is one of the achievements of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the head of the Saudi entertainment organization Turki Al-Sheikh. The poet Ali al-Ghamdi published a video of what he said is a Korean band wishing to visit Saudi Arabia. They say "I love you" in Arabic.

But others believe that holding parties for these teams in Saudi Arabia is "shameful", referring to the religious status of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi writer Khaled al-Askar wrote in a tweet: "I received painful painful videos in Jeddah .. Receiving, filming and screaming girls and haram (women) Jeddah for a Korean band singing in the Koran and filming my predecessor with the band .. Very shameful .. Jeddah is not far from Mecca and Medina, And in the holy months .. Our Lord does not take us to do what the ignorant of us. "

Some Saudis accuse members of the Korean teams of being "women-like," and one of them talks on Twitter about a mother who hit her daughter because she is following these teams on her mobile phone.

Journalist Susanna Kulbel says that while some may say that artists who make presentations in Saudi Arabia may be involved in coverage of their human rights abuses, she asserts that the artist can also show his attitude.

Mohieddin Hussein / Nermeen Ismail

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