The overwhelmed fan was watching Majid al-Mohandis in the western city of Ta’if
She managed to hug him for six seconds, as security officers tried to free singer
The fan was arrested and taken into custody at a girls’ welfare institution
Saudi media says she could face up to two years in jail, and be fined for the hug
An overwhelmed Saudi girl was arrested after dashing onto stage to hug her favourite male singer, as the country bans females from mixing with men in public who are not relatives.
Majid al-Mohandis, described as ‘the Prince of Arab singing’, was performing at a festival in the western city of Ta’if, a city in the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, when one of his fans suddenly ran up to him.
The unnamed girl can be seen in a video – posted on Twitter – nimbly running up steps towards the singer, before throwing her arms around him, while wearing a black niqab.
The man also described as Saudi Arabia’s ‘Paul McCartney’: Majid al-Mohandis
She managed to cling onto him for a six-second-long hug while security guards tried to prise her arms away from the performer, an Iraqi-born singer with Saudi citizenship.
Police arrested the fan for her actions, under anti-harassment laws, and she was taken into custody at the girls’ welfare institution in Ta’if.
Saudi media reports that if convicted under the anti-harassment act – adopted in the kingdom in May – the girl, whose age has not been released, could face up to two years in jail and a £20,000 (100,000 Saudi riyals) fine.
Majid al-Mohandis, described as ‘the Prince of Arab singing’, was singing at a festival in the western city of Ta’if
In this grainy Twitter photo, the girl can suddenly be seen dashing onto stage
She determinedly approaches him for a big hug, as one security guard leaps into action
The girl is swiftly surrounded by more security and led from the stage
It was brought in to combat sexual harassment in the Kingdom, which is considered a crime according to Islamic law, and the act applies to both genders.
After his performance on Friday, al-Mohandis said on his Facebook page that he had ‘pleased this wonderful audience’ and posted a link to a BBC article about the stage invasion itself.
While some fans replied that God was ‘pleased’ with his ‘magnificent’ performance, one urged him to ‘stand with the girl’ at the theatre, ‘because they arrested her because of you’.
The Arabic hashtag for ‘girl hugs Majid Al-Muhandis’ was trending in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, according to Albawalba.
Saudi journalist and novelist Samar Al-Mogren tweeted that admiration and ‘obsessions with artists and celebrities exist all over the world, so do not interpret the situation based on nationality.’
Another posted: ‘Fangirling is a condition, not a crime. It happens in every concert around the world, just tighten the security and the problem be solved [sic].’
But one criticised it as a ‘shameful, sad and dishonorable sight’.
Although women in Saudi Arabia are banned from mixing in public with men who are unrelated to them, they are allowed to do so in banks, hospitals and medical colleges.