Pop music superstar Mariah Carey recently became the biggest star yet to perform in Saudi Arabia. The sharia kingdom has been slowly loosening its restrictions on entertainment from the West, but this show of “modernity” hasn’t quite trickled down to Saudi women — who protested Carey’s concert.
Al-Najjar is a co-founder of Women for Rights in Saudi Arabia, or WARSA, which launched a petition calling on Carey to boycott the country. The petition aimed to publicly pressure Carey because “she has power to stand for women ... as an artist and as a female,” Al-Najjar said.
Activists are tweeting at Carey directly, urging her to take notice of the prominent Saudi women’s rights activists imprisoned since May who had long campaigned for social changes and women’s empowerment. The women, who include activists in their 20s as well as mothers, grandmothers and retired professors, have been accused of vague national security violations in connection to their human rights work.