American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey is about to hold her first-ever performance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on the sidelines of the country’s first international golf tournament.
According to the Arab News daily newspaper, Carey’s performance will take place in King Abdullah Economic City, located on the coast of the Red Sea, on 31 January.
This development evoked a negative reaction online, with some social media users urging the singer not to perform in Saudi Arabia due to the country’s track record on women’s rights, while some called on her to use her performance to raise awareness about female activists detained there.
Dear @MariahCarey, I hear you’re planning on performing in #Saudi Arabia: are you aware that women’s rights activists have been detained without charge since May 2018 & tortured at the orders of Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman? https://t.co/NqbRBlYpR4— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) 26 января 2019 г.
.@MariahCarey do not go to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia until all Saudi women can choose to travel in their own country where they want, travel outside their own country where they want, and live on their own.— Robert Rutledge (@rerutled) 26 января 2019 г.
Like you can. #EndMaleGuardianship https://t.co/e8oI4t01Ax
Dear @MariahCarey, Please don't perform in #Saudi Arabia. If you do perform there please use your performance to support Saudi women activists being detained & tortured, call for an end the Saudi war on Yemen and for adherence to human rights. 👉 https://t.co/zb7nBF2A1Y pic.twitter.com/1pLwAqyysr— Ariel Gold 🔥💕 אריאל (@ArielElyseGold) 26 января 2019 г.
Dear @MariahCarey, when you perform in #Saudi: Please support the women activists detained & savagely tortured by orders of MBS & endorse publicly their rights to advocate freely for freedom & rights: pic.twitter.com/X87rpROMPI— STOP Al-SAUD (@Stop_Alsaud) 26 января 2019 г.
A number of people also took a dim view of Carey’s upcoming event due to Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the ongoing armed conflict in Yemen.
Hearing @MariahCarey will be performing in Saudi Arabia is truly disappointing. As a long time fan, who has family in war torn country of #Yemen, I kindly ask you to cancel this trip! My ppl are suffering from US bombs and Saudi warplanes. #YemenCantWait https://t.co/CkSWXPm7mG— JehanHakimجيهان حكيم (@Jehan_Hakim) 25 января 2019 г.
Yay! More cosmetic reforms and glitz! Just what the Saudi people need. Hope it brings peace to Yemen though i doubt it will.— Uncle Mohamed's Egyptian Cotton T-shirts (@SidIshusThreads) 25 января 2019 г.
Yemen has been locked in a conflict between government forces led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and Houthi rebels, with the Saudi-led coalition entering the conflict at Hadi’s request.
Since last year, the Saudi government seemingly set about reforms aimed at liberalising the country, lifting a ban which prevented women from driving and criminalising sexual harassment, in addition to other measures.