The Saudi police arrested a young singer after he dabbed during a music contest that took place in the city of Taif.
A now viral video shows TV host, actor, and aspiring artist, Abdallah Al Shaharani, doing the dance move that is officially banned by the country’s anti-drug authority because it is believed that the move is a reference to weed and other (illegal) drugs.
Dabbing is a simple dance move in which a person drops their head into the bent crook of their slanted arm while raising the other arm in a parallel direction but out straight. The move resembles sneezing into the “inside” of the elbow.
It was first pulled off by Atlanta rapper Skippa Da Flippa in his 2014 video ‘How Fast Can You Count It,’ and it later became popular on the internet. It is usually performed by artists, celebrities, and even athletes all around the world.
Al Shaharani made an apology to his people and government before his arrest:
السلام عليكم .. اقدم أشد اعتذاري لحكومتنا الرشيدة وجمهوري العزيز على الحركة
(العفوية الغير مقصوده ) في مهرجان الطائف
تقبلوا اعتذاري ..
— عبدالله الشهراني (@Shaharani1A) August 6, 2017
“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, “ the tweet read.
However, even after he publicly apologized, his performance at the Taif festival are still stirring up controversy on social media. In the past several days, many people have used the hashtag ‘a contestant at Taif’s Bidaya festival promotes the dab dance,’ to express their opinions on the matter.
Many have been infuriated:
— صريح جداً (@honest_very) August 6, 2017
“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?” one user wrote.
Others were defending him:
“This was just a spontaneous move, he has since apologized to the country’s people and government and you’re still holding it against him?”
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