RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Thousands of young women cheered and rose in a standing ovation at the first public concert performed by a female singer in Saudi Arabia.
Some took off their abayas — the loose-fitting, full-length robes local women are required to wear in public — allowing their hair to hang loose.
Others danced to renditions of Whitney Houston and Celine Dion tunes as well as Arab classics. Many of the well-heeled young women held up their smartphones to film the spectacle.
“This is a very proud moment for Saudi Arabia,” the master of ceremonies said while welcoming Lebanese singer Hiba Tawaji to the stage. “All women should express their appreciation for a fact that a woman for the first time is performing at a concert in Saudi Arabia.”
Wednesday’s event is the latest example of how Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reforms are …