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.