Saturday, February 22, 2020

Mecca’s girl : You got a bigger issue here

In Egypt and Saudi Arabia, two songs are making headlines for all the wrong reasons forcing us to ask a question about creativity, censorship, racism, classicism, and society in general.

I will speak in this post about that song from Saudi Arabia with my all due respect and yes I am going to meddle in one of their internal issues.

Late Monday news came from Saudi Arabia that Saudi authorities released young rapper Asayel AlBishi after her arrest following the release of the music video “Bent Mecca” {Mecca’s girl}.
It is still unofficial news based on her sister Ayah AlBishi’s Tweet.
The whole sad affair started in the Weekend when Asayel AlBishi or Asayel Slay, a young amateur rapper decided to release her music video “Bent Mecca” online and it went viral creating huge uproar online.
Slay was bragging about how fine and great the girls of Mecca. She was doing a classical braggadocio rap.
There is one problem, she was bragging and little girls dancing around her in a café in Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims.

I won’t lie and say that I was not taken by surprise and a little shock when I saw the song and the little girls dancing at first glance. I was surprised like many to find a Mecca girl rapping like that.

My only remark is how the girls were dancing because I think they are younger to dance those moves and actually I do not like women dancing in rap music.

Another remark, if Asayel rapped about Jeddah girls or Riyadh girls, she would have gotten away with it but this is Mecca where the holiest site for Muslims is located.

 Yes, the Muslim world got this perception of the people living in Mecca are extremely pious but in reality they are like any other population with youth and teenagers like any other city
As the song went viral, I know that she would be troubled and Mecca’s official Twitter account announcement confirmed that.

On 20 February 2020, Mecca region’s official Twitter account announced that city’s governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal ordered the arrest of those responsible for the production of that music video which “defies the identity customs and traditions of Mecca’s locals”

This tweet attracted all the racists in the Saudi Kingdom who urged the Prince of the city to deport “that foreigner”.
Yes, because she is a dark-skinned Saudi, other Saudis believe that she is of a foreign descent that should be deported asap.

Already what made me see the music video and follow this sad affair was the sad racist comments of Saudi tweeps which showed a bigger problem that a young girl bragging in rap about Mecca by the end of the day.

Pro-regime Saudi nationalists began to share the song themselves attacking Asayel calling “non-indigenous Saudi” and a “foreigner who defames the girls of Mecca” because she is black.
They also launched a counter hashtag to the song in Arabic called “#You_are_not_the_daughters_of_Mecca”

The amount of racist slurs I found in all the hashtags related to Asayel was disgusting.

Asayel’s YouTube Channel was shut down and her music video was removed by her or her family. Her account on Instagram as well as on Snapchat are private at the time being

Yet “Mecca girl” music video is still there and with the help of the Saudi authorities, it is now spread more than before with every news channel airing it and news website sharing it online.
Here is the music video

Here is one example

On the next day, the news came that the young lady was arrested and could be facing a prison sentence between three and seven years for defaming the people of Mecca “is there a charge like that in the first place ?”
There was an active hashtag in Arabic called “#Help_Asayel_ElBishi” as her sister asked the people for their help.

Most of the tweets coming from Saudi Arabia defending the young rapper and pointing out to the duplicity of the Saudi decision-makers 

One of the famous examples of this duplicity is how rapper Nicki Minaj was going to sing in Jeddah in July 2019 but pulled out of the music festival organized by Turki Al-Sheikh because of a backlash in the Western media over the rights of women and LBGT.

Till her announcement that she was going not to hold that concert, the Saudi officials, especially at the top, did not have any problem of hosting her in their conservatives country because they wanted to send a message to the problem that the kingdom is opening up at last under the leadership of Prince Mohamed Bin Salman aka MBS.

The Saudi officials were open to hosting Nicki Minaj with her explicit lyrics and style too in Jeddah just like they hosted a gay activist like Omar Sharif Jr in the Kingdom in 2018 for PR in the West as long as not in Mecca 

Mecca is a red line because simply we are speaking about the Holiest City for more than one billion Muslim around the globe with their different political affiliations as well as sects too

But as a Muslim, I do not want Asayel to be imprisoned or pay a huge price when she is young like that for something like this
As a Muslim, I am more concerned and I feel angrier with that ugly racist campaign against Asayel and black people in the kingdom.

It is like this rap song actually exposed an even bigger issue. Racism in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, in general, must be dealt with.
It is not less important than religious discourse.

Another thing, I believe the problem of Asayel that she believed that there is true openness in Saudi society to accept her as a rapper bragging about the greatness of the girls of Mecca.
Little she knows about the superficial openness in our part of the world

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