Burkha-clad Saudi housewife poised to win Middle East 'Pop Idol'

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London, March 31(ANI): A burkha clad Saudi housewife has strong chances of winning reality show 'Million's Poet', which is equivalent to 'Pop Idol'in Middle East.

Hissa Hilal has impressed many with her radical poetries criticizing attitudes to women in her country.

Hilal, who is a former journalist and poetry editor for a Saudi newspaper, delivers her verses from beneath a niqab - the all-black face-veil worn by ultra-traditional Arab women.

Her works make a direct attack on the tradition of fatwas, led by clerics, in Saudi Arabia.

She said in one poem: "I have seen evil in the eyes of fatwas:

now the lawful and unlawful are confused. When I unveil the truth, a monster appears from his hiding place; barbaric in thinking and action, angry and blind; wearing death as a dress and covering it with a belt."

She has been given death threats by some extremists for speaking out but she isn't scared.

However, she claims she wears the face-veil for the sake of her husband and family.

"This is a platform that can help you to reach the world. There are some people who constantly look for a target," the Telegraph quoted her as saying.

She added: "When I went to some open (Muslim) countries, I noticed that western people looked at me suspiciously because I was wearing the niqab, but they would not do the same when they see a Sikh wearing the turban.

"Who is responsible for this suspicious look? Who made it happen? It was this kind of people - extremists - who have given us a bad name. Muslims, instead of being respected, are a source of fear and suspicion because of these people."

Hilal's success is apparently a sign of how conditions have improved for women after King Abdullah came to the throne in 2005.

During his reign, Saudi Arabia has seen a woman minister being nominated and permission for mixed-sex teaching at a newly opened science university.

'Million's Poet', that holds competition between writers of Bedouin verse, began in Abu Dhabi four years ago.

It is modeled on ITV television show Pop Idol. The winner takes home almost a million pounds. (ANI)

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