A Saudi woman complained to the Saudi Royal Court Adviser and Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, Turki Al-Sheikh for being discriminated against during Riyadh Season festival for wearing the niqab.
Translation: “I should be an organizer in this season and have been working tirelessly, but unfortunately, there are some people who despise people wearing veils. These people, specifically the manager, prevented me from working because I am wearing the niqab. I hope this video reaches his excellency Turki Al-Sheikh and all the people..”
Turki Al-Sheikh responded by sharing the video of the woman, who complained against the event manager for prohibiting her from work unless she took off her niqab. He tweeted that the incident is under investigation and that the manager will be persecuted.
Another woman came forward to Al-Sheikh, pointing out that she had worked in the entertainment sector for years and had never faced discrimination until she started working at Riyadh Season.
لي سنوات أعمل في مجال العمل التطوعي وشاركت في أكثر من جهه فالجنادريه مع إمارة جازان ومهرجان الحريد والمهرجانات الموسميه و غرفة جازان في لجنة المسؤولية المجتمعية وايضا قدمت جلسات حواريه على مسارح ولم يتم استنقاصي لحجابي كما حصل اليوم معي في #موسم_الرياض_2019@Turki_alalshikh
— مريم الحازمي | Maryam alHazmi (@Mary_alHazmi) October 16, 2019
Translation: “I have worked in the entertainment sector for years. Nobody ever told me to take off my headscarf until I started working at Riyadh Season.”
Reactions from social media users were divided between those who called out the incident as discrimination, defending the woman’s right to work, and those who suggested that she ought to look for a different job, with some tweeting misogynistic comments.
بيّض الله وجهك يا ابو ناصر .. و بيّض الله وجه بنت الاجاويد .
— ??عبداللطيف آل الشيخ (@Alshaikh2) October 16, 2019
Translation: “God bless you Al-Sheikh. And God bless you, you graceful woman.”
صدقني أن الطبخخخه كلها المستهدفه فيه المراة والاستعراض فيها جايه تشتكين عند كبيرهم اللي معلمهم ومعطيهم الشروط؟ ابعدي عن طريقهم دوري لك وظيفة بعيده كل البعد عن ترفيههم اللي للاسف مافاد الشعب ولا الوطن ولا راعى ديننا ومن ترك شي لله عوضه خير منه ابعدي عن طريقهم وانا اخوك يعوضك الله
— سلام (@K2M68jeqUuXlbSN) October 17, 2019
Translation: “Get out of the men’s way and let them do their jobs and look for another job away from entertainment. Saudi is lacking ethics and Islam nowadays. Listen to me, I’m like your brother.”