Civilians, academics, and public figures have been condemning the way Moroccan women are portrayed in the Middle East and Gulf countries.
Rabat – Moroccan singer Zina Daoudia has stirred backlash for her controversial statement during a concert in Saudi Arabia.
During the concert, Daoudia thanked Saudi authorities for putting her on the list of celebrities to perform at the festivals the Arab country has launched to boost tourism.
One of her comments has not gone unnoticed.
“We have your men and you have our women,” she said.
People in Morocco linked Daoudia’s statement with stereotypes about how Moroccan women are perceived in Gulf countries.
“Moroccan singer to Saudi Arabia: We have your men and you have our women. We share blood and flesh said Dr. Zina Daoudia,” wrote one Twitter user sarcastically.
مغنية مغربية للسعوديين :
بناتنا عندكم وأولادكم عندنا حنا مشاركين معكم اللحم
الدكتورة زينة الداودية ???
— hamdani jamal (@touhani85) January 24, 2020
Another Twitter user said the singer ought to be prosecuted for the statement.
For many years, Moroccan women, men, and public figures have denounced the way Moroccan women are portrayed in Gulf countries and the Middle East.
Abdellah Boussouf, Secretary-General of the Council for the Moroccan Community Abroad said in a previous interview that the “biggest challenge facing female Moroccan migrants in Gulf countries is stereotyping.”
He said that the council seeks to “dispel the stereotypes” made by the media. It also aims to show the leading roles played by Moroccan women and their various contributions to the history of humanity, and to Moroccan culture.
Daoudia has not yet reacted to the backlash but has shared her pride at being invited to perform in Saudi Arabia.
“I was delighted to visit and sing in the sisterly country of Saudi Arabia,” said the singer. She thanked Saudi authorities for the invitation, especially the head of the Saudi Entertainment Authority, Turki al-Sheikh.
Al-Sheikh has an unfriendly history with Morocco after making offensive statements about Morocco.
In 2018, al-Sheik criticized Saudi football player Fahad Al Mawlid for visiting Marrakech.
“I have a problem with Fahad Al Mawlid, we sent you to Manchester United and you had the training, but why the layover through Marrakech? why? I want to know what is the situation,” Al-Sheikh said, amid the laughter of his guests.
The hashtag Saudi_Minister_Insults_Marrakech, went viral on social media.