JEDDAH: Saudi authorities arrested a teen after appearing in a viral video clip dancing to the 1990’s viral Los del Rio hit “Macarena” in the middle of the city’s famous Tahlia Street.
According to Sabq, the official spokesman for Makkah police, Col. Atti bin Attia Al-Qurashi, said the teen’s conduct is considered “a disruption of traffic and violation of public morality.”
Al-Qurashi confirmed that the police in Jeddah, in coordination with Makkah patrols, managed to arrest the 14-year-old after analyzing the video clip and gathering the necessary security information. Authorities will hear his statements before referring him to the Public Prosecution.
Twitter has been abuzz with the debate over a 40-second video of the incident as tweeps took to the social media platform to air their conflicting views on the widely circulated, unusual scene.
Some viewers condemned his “discourteous” act and demanded that he be punished. “Does he know that school is nearing? Or is he one of those spoiled kids going to private schools?” said one commenter who added that this is the best news he received about his arrest so he does not influence other teens. “The photographer should also be held,” another suggested.
Others pointed out that he is a child who is doing what many children at his age should be doing — having fun. “Not everything should be solved through police and public prosecution,” one tweep said. “He is just a kid who wanted to enjoy his time. Don’t make a big fuss about it.”
بزر مراهق حب يفرح. لا تسب لا تضخم الموضوع ،قرفتونا بسلبيتكم
— غادة (@_Ghadaa1) August 20, 2017
Other Twitter users went as far as to call him a “hero,” something that people need in their lives.
Jeddah boy dancing in the middle of Tahlia Street is the hero we need pic.twitter.com/fui9v2UuDF
— Ahmed Al Omran (@ahmed) August 19, 2017
“Some people were indoctrinated to denounce everything joyful. The kid is really a hero because he dared to spread joy in the presence of all those wretched people,” said Tariq who encouraged the teen to “dance away,” and not care about the downers.
البعض زرع فيهم أن يستنكروا كل ما هو مثير للفرحة. الطفل فعلا بطل لأنه تجرأ بأن ينشر الفرح بوجود هؤلاء التعساء. Dance away kid ولا يهمونك!
— طارق (@Tariq_A_Alsh) August 21, 2017
There are many theories surrounding the reason behind his off-the-cuff dance routine. Several people suggested that he could be involved in some sort of a challenge with a friend, while others said this could be the result of a long summer holiday, leading youngsters to find inventive ways to keep themselves entertained.
The viral clip brought up, once again, the issue of the apparent absence of religious police on Saudi streets, and many social media users attacked the government’s newest entertainment body, the General Entertainment Authority, over its organization of various music and dance activities which, they say, may have influenced the teen’s conduct.