Crossing two million views within a week of its release, Majed al-Esa’s powerful video is bringing controversy and awe alike. The music video ‘Hwages’ features Saudi Arabian women defying stereotypes imposed on them by the largely misogynistic Middle Eastern society.
The women dressed in niqab are seen riding bikes and scooters, rollerskating down the street, playing basketball, bowling, dancing and driving bumper cars as they represent their curbed, limited and restricted lives. The middle eastern women are forbidden to drive, interact with men, wear an attire of their choice or even be independent without a guardianship.
The song is based on an old Bedouin folk song translating to “concerns” in English. As the video progresses, women are seeing calling out their men. “Men make us mentally ill’, ‘they’re making us go crazy” and clapping to phrases like, “if only God would rid us of men!”, these women are making a strong cultural and political point as they reveal the sorrows and exhaustion of their hearts.
This collaboration of art and feminism has won many hearts for its bold, empowering message. The women of Saudi Arabia are prudly sharing the video online to voice their ”Hwages”. In fact, one of the oldest Saudi Arabian newspaper also didn’t shy away from calling it a “new generation of women [that] is different from the past”. The ex-wife of a prominent Saudi prince, Al-Waleed bin Talal, also shared the clip on her Twitter account.
— Rawan S. Alawaji (@Rawan___as) December 27, 2016
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