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Why Saudi Arabia Is Suddenly Allowing a Lot More Fun

January 13, 2017 1:31 pm


Justin Bieber’s “Let me love you!” blared from giant speakers to greet the arriving audience. Once settled, there were gasps and laughter at the antics of two American magicians before people sat back to savor some opera, mime and dance.

The scene could have been from any variety performance on any weekend just about anywhere in the world, at least on the surface. But this is Saudi Arabia. A closer look, and the cast was all male, only men and children were allowed on stage at the end for photos and the female stewards wore head-to-toe black cloaks under their fluorescent vests.

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