Singer In Saudi Arabia Arrested For 'Dabbing' On-Stage

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“I'm sure it was an accident, because I personally know this man and his morals, and he has apologized and shown people that he wasn't aware of the meaning of the move."

A Saudi national, who is a singer, actor and a TV host, was arrested by authorities for performing the “dab” dance move during a concert at a music festival in Taif, south-west of Saudi Arabia.

Abdallah Al Shahani was performing on stage and fans were making his videos while cheering for him. While encouraging the audience to clap along, he suddenly performed a dance move which involves a person tucking their head into the crook of their arm.

Soon after the incident, the video went viral on social media.

Dabbing is banned in the kingdom by the National Committee for Drug Control and is considered as a reference to narcotics culture and marijuana use.

Abdul-Ella Al-Sharif, Secretary-General of the National Committee for Drug Control said Shahani’s move was “contrary to the national strategy to combat drugs” and he was arrested in the same way anyone who undermines the law would be.

While apologizing for the act, the singer wrote, “I apologize to our respected government and to my audience for unintentionally and spontaneously making the dance move at Taif festival. Please accept my apology."

 

Dabbing is said to be originated in Atlanta, United States, and was created by rapper Skippa da Flippa in 2014. Since then the move has become popular and has been imitated by artists, celebrities and athletes.

The video created a furor on social media and Saudi’s were divided: Some supported the singer while others spoke out against him.

“Even though the anti-drug authority banned this move and warned people not to perform it, this contestant is promoting it at a public festival!!! Does he think he's challenging authorities with these actions?” wrote a Twitter user who goes by the name @honest_very.

@brakalhmede wrote, “This move has an obvious negative influence on people. No matter what his explanation is, it's unacceptable.”

“I'm sure it was an accident, because I personally know this man and his morals, and he has apologized and shown people that he wasn't aware of the meaning of the move," said TV presenter @Kemmooalharbi.

It remains unclear whether the singer performed the act deliberately or got carried away while performing.

However, Shahani is not the first singer to perform the dab on stage. Social media users pointed out singer Rabeh Sager performs the act quite often.

 

Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Muhammad Hamed

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