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Female judge of Saudi Pop Idol sparks outrage after hugging winner

Female judge of Saudi Pop Idol TV show sparks outrage after hugging the male winner of the grand final

  • Ahmad Gaseri was named the winner of ‘Najem Al Saudia’ over the weekend  
  • Waed, a judge on the show, sparked outrage by congratulating him with a hug
  • A clip of the moment went viral on social media in the conservative kingdom 

A female judge on a Saudi Arabian talent show sparked outrage after hugging the winner during the live final.

Ahmad Gaseri was named the winner of ‘Najem Al Saudia’ (Star of Saudi Arabia) over the weekend, StepFeed reports.

But Waed – a 41-year-old singer who is one of the Pop Idol-style show’s judges – sparked a backlash on social media after she congratulated him with a hug.

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Waed, a female judge on a Saudi Arabian talent show, sparked outrage after hugging the winner during the live final

The clip of Waed, whose real name is Hanan Baker Younis, embracing Gaseri and touching his cheek quickly lit up social media in the kingdom.

Many were shocked and outraged and accused Waed – who was dressed in a white T-shirt and full, brightly coloured skirt – of violating Saudi Arabia’s conservative values.


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‘I can’t believe this, Waed,’ one Twitter user wrote.

‘Respect Saudi society and the country’s reputation,’ another said.

Waed (left, with an unidentified man), a singer who is a judge on the talent show, sparked outrage after hugging the winner

But others defended the Saudi Arabian entertainer, saying her congratulatory hug had been harmless.

‘She sees him as her son,’ one said.

Another person noted: ‘This show has been on air for months and no-one even noticed it, but suddenly you’re all focused on this clop of Waed with the contestant.

‘Now they’re playing their favourite role, calling for her to be punished. This is the only thing they’re good at.’ 

 

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