Saudi girls’ secrets
A new television show, featuring three fully covered Saudi women, is giving viewers a glimpse of the secretive world of teenage girls in Saudi Arabia, Arab News reports.
November 4, 2009 1:07 by Fatima Sidiya
A new TV show that discusses issues concerning teenage girls and female university students was recently broadcast with Saudi presenters dressed in black from head to toe.
The show – named Asrar Al-Banat (The Secrets of Girls) – is broadcast on Awtan TV, a Saudi religious channel that was first aired in August 2008 and has women broadcasters who are covered in the all-enveloping abaya and niqab.
There are over 60 religious satellite channels that are broadcast across the Middle East via Arabsat and Nilesat networks. The channels represent different extremes when it comes to women presenters. Channels such as Iqraa and al-Resalah have women presenters who do not cover their faces and dress in different colors, not necessarily black. On the other hand, channels such as al-Majd have no women presenters. Awtan is perhaps one that toes the middle line by allowing women to appear but only when covered from head to toe.
Presenting Asrar Al-Banat is Sawsan Salah al-Deen, a 26-year-old Saudi BA graduate in Media and Guidance.
Sawsan presents the show with her sister, Sarah, a specialist in blood diseases, and psychologist Nawal Dawood.
Sawsan, who is from Riyadh, said she has long been looking to work as a journalist and has previously tried writing for the print media. She, however, finds TV shows effective in conveying her message. Asrar al-Banat was the idea of Sa’ad al-Obaid, the program’s director, who wanted a program that provides an insight into girls’ issues.