Saudi students made a talent show and the internet got angry

Published April 3rd, 2016 - 01:43 GMT
Saudi students made a university talent show, and some were outraged by the event (Facebook)
Saudi students made a university talent show, and some were outraged by the event (Facebook)

A university talent show which included mixed gender performances and western music has caused a scandal in Saudi Arabia.

A video of the Effat University show, which included an acoustic female duo and reworking of Ed Sheeran’s notoriously benign hit “Thinking out Loud”, was filmed and posted online.

Although its content might appear unremarkable, many Saudi observers were angered and began piling criticism on the show using the hashtag “University of Corruption, Shame and Vice, Effat”.

God forgive us... What's become of education?

Some called for the organisers of the event to be punished, or even demanded the university be shut down in response to what they called the deteriorating moral situation there. The scandalous behaviour they objected to included “racy” music, girls appearing without hijab, and the intermixing of men and women.

We seek refuge from the wrath of God. Is this a university or a nightclub? It's reached such a degree of terrible degradation.

What's coming is scaaaaary... Who made this generation? Who planned this lustful, carnal generation without even a national identity?

Outrage, however, wasn’t universal and many Saudis took to twitter to defend the students.


Every day I'm reassured that many saudis have a phobia of happiness.

By the following day, the hashtag was dominated by people supporting the university and the students, and asking what the fuss was about. Some argued that the university had more serious issues to worry about.

How many billions have been embezzled?
All the nepotism?
How many rapists have been given only a few years in prison?

Others praised the university, and the talent show.

Effat is the best university for event planning, and they know how to graduate trained women who are ready to compete in the job market.

For some, the social conservatism of those that criticised the university was the real scandal.

Ignorance and backwardness unfortunately. Don't judge something you haven't seen!

Although the performance was shut down after the Twitter reaction, the University also backed its students. The administration tweeted that it had been forced to cancel the performance because the videos of the show violated of the privacy of performers, and apologised to the attendees and the organisers.


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