In Saudi Arabia, a small rebellious music
Three singers, six hours of concert and eight thousand people transient of emotion. It was in Jeddah on 30 January: Saudi Arabia was celebrating its reunion with the music. For the first time in seven years, a public concert was organized in the second city of the kingdom. In an ultra-conservative country, where most religious consider music to be haram (“illicit”) – to the point that it’s teaching in school is forbidden.
Until the wee hours of the morning, in an ecstatic atmosphere, the audience sang the romantic and patriotic songs of the trio on stage: the Saudi superstar Mohammed Abdo, a khaliji-style veteran ( al-khalij, in Arabic) Arabian Gulf region); His compatriot, Rabeh Saqer, also very famous; And Iraqi Majid Al-Mohandis, Arab pop star, naturalized Saudi in 2010.
Three singers who, due to local puritanism, are more prominent in Dubai or Bahrain, two neighboring principalities than in their own country. Out of respect for the Wahhabi clergy, the ultra-Islamic Islamic current in Saudi Arabia, access to the concert was forbidden to women.
“I’m so happy to sing in my homeland, please do not make me cry,” exclaimed Rabeh Saqer, as he went on stage. At the end of the show, Mohammed Abdo, nicknamed “the artist of the Arabs”, threw into the audience his signal, the black cord that allows keeping the ghutra, the headscarf serving as headgear for the men of the Gulf. “The public was languishing with us and we were longing for him,” summed up Majid Al-Mohandis, once back in his box.
Three days earlier, Riyad had also been entitled to his historic concert. A local jazz group played in front of three thousand people at the King-Fahd Cultural Center, the Salle Pleyel in the Saudi capital. To believe …