Arabs may have tal­ent but here it’s the Sauds of si­lence

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY TV -

city known for its ul­tra­con­ser­vatism has cre­ated its own ver­sion of the Arabs Got Tal­ent tele­vi­sion re­al­ity show, but with no mu­sic, and women banned from tak­ing part. In­stead, com­peti­tors will be per­mit­ted to per­form re­li­gious chants, re­cite po­ems and en­gage in sports events. The con­test is be­ing held north of the cap­i­tal in the city of Bu­ray­dah, known as a cen­tre for Wah­habism, a strict in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Is­lam that is fol­lowed in the desert king­dom, Al-Hayat news­pa­per re­ports. Bu­ray­dah’s Got Tal­ent is the ti­tle of the con­test, which will abide by the strict rules of seg­re­ga­tion be­tween the sexes, mean­ing it is not open to women. Mu­sic, singing and danc­ing are strict no-nos, de­spite be­ing sta­ples in sim­i­lar tal­ent com­pe­ti­tions that have be­come a global view­ing phe­nom­e­non with na­tional ver­sions tele­vised in 32 coun­tries. The Saudi ver­sion will be in the open air be­fore a jury com­pris­ing a poet, TV pre­sen­ters and a TV pro­ducer, Al-Hayat said, quot­ing fo­rum su­per­vi­sor Jalawi alShukair. Dubai-based Saudi tele­vi­sion group MBC has for two sea­sons been run­ning Arabs Got Tal­ent, and a Saudi group is among this year’s fi­nal­ists.

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