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Saudis Ban Controversial Female Poet For 15 years

JAFFA, Israel – The Saudi authorities have banned a controversial woman poet from participating in cultural events for 15 years, the Qatari-British Al Quds newspaper reported on Sunday.

Hind Al-Mutairi (pictured), a critic of patriarchy and polygamy, was precluded at the personal insistence of Prince Khaled al Faisal, a poet and the official in charge of all the cultural events in the kingdom.

Al-Mutairi read some of her controversial poems at an exhibition in Jedda recently, drawing fire from conservative critics who already protested the invitation of a female participant.

Prince Khaled succumbed to mounting public pressure to sanction the poet. The organizing committee of the exhibition accused al-Mutairi of adding a provocative verse to her poem to stir controversy and embarrass them.

In her defense, al-Mutairi said that she had read the same poem at a festival in Cairo shortly beforehand.

Prince Khaled sought to preempt criticism from liberal circles in the kingdom and abroad, and decided to ban two of al-Mutairi’s critics from participating in the exhibition that has yet to close.

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