The men were attending the popular yearly Jenadrivah Heritage and Culture Festival. Held in the capital city of Riyadh, it attracts visitors from across the Arab
nations. Three UAE attendees, working in their country’s compound, were singled out by the mutaween for their good looks, which authorities feared would prove irresistible to women. Police ordered them to leave the country.
Mutaween confronts female singer
One of the festival organizers verified the report in an interview with the newspaper Al Hayat,
and said festival administrators even put a rush on their return trip. “I do not know with whom the sources that requested their deportation are associated, but we put the men on a flight out of concern for problems that might arise.”
The deportation of the men garnered strong reaction on social networking sites
in the Arab world. Among the responses were calls to relieve the religious police of their involvement in the festival, while other talk backers expressed amazement at that the incident even occurred. Another comment on Twitter called the incident an affront to the UAE.
This is not the first time the Emirates compound has drawn the attention of the Saudi religious police. In one case, one of the force’s officers clashed with ‘Ariam,’ a popular singer
who was participating in a festival event. Her performance was not to his liking and he tried to climb on stage and confront her. The man was kept back by security forces.