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Twitter storm over girl’s ‘immodest’ Saudi National Day performance

11-year-old Jenna Al-Shammary had performed at a play wearing makeup and without the hijab

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An 11-year-old girl who appeared in a theater play here last Wednesday sporting makeup and her long hair uncovered while performing a National Day song has stirred a heated debate on the social media website Twitter, an Arabic daily reported.

Many people have criticized 11-year-old Jenna Al-Shammary for not covering her hair and wearing red lipstick and singing in front of a male audience. Some people even called her immodest because she did not wear the hijab (head cover).

A professor at King Khalid University said the girl’s appearance transcended all boundaries of modesty and he held her parents responsible for her actions.

Many people, however, praised the girl and attacked her detractors and described them as “persons with extreme mentalities.”

Fayez Al-Malki, a well-known Saudi comedian, told her detractors to mind their own business and leave the young girl alone. He wished her the best of luck in her future endeavors.

Jenna’s father said he would bring legal action against those who used inappropriate words to describe his daughter on Twitter and other social media websites.

“My daughter is a young girl! She’s not as old as was reported on the social media websites. Besides, she sang in front of senior government officials with other children,” the father said.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014.