Saudi Shocker… Public Concert Held– Men & Women Hold Hands!
The men and women were even allowed to sit next to each other.
A mixed gender audience enjoyed a performance of the German-based Artis Piano Quartet in Riyadh on Friday may 3, 2008. (The Hindu)
The concert was a first for Saudi Arabia where public music is banned, women are veiled and men and women are segregated.
It was probably as groundbreaking and revolutionary as Mozart was ever going to get. A German-based quartet staged Saudi Arabia’s first-ever performance of European classical music in a public venue before a mixed gender audience.
The concert, held on Friday night, broke many taboos in a country where public music is banned and men and women are segregated even in the lines at fast food outlets. The performance could be yet another indication that this country is looking to open up. A few weeks ago, King Abdullah made an unprecedented call for an interfaith dialogue — the first such proposal from a nation that forbids non-Muslim religious services and symbols.
Pianist Hiroko Atsumi, the Artis Piano Quartet’s only woman, chose not to wear an abaya, the black cloak all Saudi women must wear in public, for the concert.
The concert was Saudi Arabia’s first ever performance of European classical music in a public venue before a mixed gender audience, breaking many taboos in a country where public music is banned and the sexes are segregated even in the lines at fast food outlets. (AP)
Or Does It Explode has more on the historical night out on in Riyadh.