Saudi Arabia cancels Egyptian singer Sherine’s charity concert
Saudi Arabia cancelled plans for a concert featuring a famous Egyptian pop star Sherine Abdel Wahab, the General Entertainment Authority said in a statement on Sunday.
The concert, which was scheduled for the end of October, was cancelled because the event’s organisers failed to apply for a license to hold such an event, according to the statement.
The concert was planned to raise money for children with cancer and was expected to see up to 500 women pay a ticket price between SR 3,000 – 10,000 ($800 – $2,667) to attend.
Saudi Arabia has cautiously begun introducing entertainment, including music concerts, despite opposition from hardliners in the kingdom, where public cinemas and theatre are banned.
Last month, Saudi Arabia said it would allow driving permits for women under a royal decree to take effect in June, sparking euphoria and disbelief among activists who long fought a ban.
The conservative kingdom was the only country in the world to ban women from taking the wheel, and it was seen globally as a symbol of repression in the country.
Riyadh has since ruled that women are allowed to issue religious edicts and said it is preparing a draft law to combat sexual harassment.
The kingdom, however, still has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women.
Under the state guardianship system, a male family member – normally the father, husband or brother – must grant permission for a woman’s study, travel and other activities.
Under the kingdom’s strict dress code, women must wear long, loose robes in public. Most cover their hair and face too.