Cultural, entertainment and art events in Saudi Arabia have stirred a loud controversy despite the fact that there has been very few of them. The disagreement is not between those who support them and oppose them or between those who desire them and fear them or between those who interact with them or keep away from them. Rejection is no longer limited to one's personal choice, as some have imposed their opinions on others by rejecting the arts entirely. On the other hand, the Saudi commission for recreation has not forcefully obliged those who oppose arts to attend any of these events.
imposing opinions on others and turning this opinion into a law violates one's right to choose from the recreational events that have been made availableTurki Aldakhil
It's is one’s right to choose not to listen to music or to hate movies, because they are conservative and think the entertainment is lewd or because they are a communist and think the entertainment is imperialist. However, imposing opinions on others and turning this opinion into a law violates one's right to choose from the recreational events that have been made available.
The modern interpretation of city living means making options available for others and paving the way for all people with different tastes to choose what they like. The city is like a big market where all options are made available and the shopper takes what he wants. This is simply an act of civilization but the buyer cannot convince others around him to buy the same merchandise he buys. This should be the workings of city living.
This article was first published in Okaz on Jan 29, 2017.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.