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February 24, 2020

‘A Girl from Makkah’ rap video sparks Saudi anger

Top Story

February 24, 2020

CAIRO: A rap video, focusing on women of the holy city of Makkah, has triggered an outcry in the kingdom and prompted legal steps from authorities who deemed the video offensive, foreign media reported on Friday.

“Bint Makkah” or “A Girl from Makkah” features a hijab-donning female singer inside a coffee shop as she extols the characteristics of the holy city’s women. Girls and boys are seen dancing in the video.

“I’m a well-bred girl from Makkah that deserves hard work. In tough times, she doesn’t back down. She props up the back,” lyrics of the controversial song go. Detractors have lashed out at the video, saying it is not representative of the Saudi women and offends the sacred status of Makkah, home to Islam’s holiest site.

In response, the Makkah authorities said the city’s governor Prince Khalid Al Faisal ordered those involved in producing the video be prosecuted. “The video offends customs and traditions of the people of Makkah and contradicts their noble identity and traditions,” the city’s authorities said in a statement.

Some reports said the rapper is not a Saudi woman, but a Makkah resident. Other online critics said she is a Saudi national of African origin, a remark that brought them under fire from others, who accused them of racism.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has taken several steps to empower women, including lifting a decades-old ban on female driving, as part of dramatic social changes in the country.