Egyptian singer Mohamed Ramadan caused uproar on social media after appearing “half naked” while donning a Saudi Arabian headdress during his sold-out concert in Riyadh on Monday.
Ramadan sang his lyrics “I am the King” as he allegedly appeared shirtless with nothing but purple fabric under a Saudi agal – a headdress intended to weigh down scarves worn by men – which he used to try and cover his chest with during his performance at the Riyadh Season 2021 festival.
The ‘Ensay’ singer, who has reportedly previously vowed to remain clothed during concerts in Egypt, gathered numerous comments from angry social media users who deemed his actions in Riyadh disrespectful.
“I hope they set a ban on him and rid us of his disgusting [actions]… wearing an Agal like a curtain found in an apartment… a loss for the land of the two holy mosques” one Twitter user, Ghada, tweeted.
“How was this creature allowed to wear an incorrect Saudi Agal? and to say he’s the king [while doing so]?” another Twitter user said.
Saudi Arabia’s Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, Turki Al al-Sheikh, celebrated Ramadan’s performance in the Saudi capital, which he says was attended by over 25,000 people, in a recently deleted instagram post. Al-Sheikh’s post made no reference to the singer’s clothing choice.
The uproar comes after Ramadan allegedly signed an agreement with the Egyptian Musicians Syndicate to abide by performer regulations, which include not removing his clothes when on stage, a spokesperson from the syndicate revealed to local Egyptian newspaper Al-Yawm Al-Sabaa in an article published on Monday.
As Ramadan is not a member of the Egyptian syndicate, he must obtain one-day licences for live performances in Egypt, where he signs the same commitment each time he wishes to perform.
Some social media users alleged that the singer’s Riyadh performance had violated the agreement he allegedly signed with the syndicate, while others said his pledge related to Egypt only.