Ta’if, Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabian singer Abdallah Al Shahani was reportedly arrested for dabbing during a music festival in the city of Ta’if. The move is banned in the conservative Middle Eastern country and considered highly controversial due to its perceived ties to drug culture.
Footage of Al Shahani’s dab exploded over social media and prompted an apology from the offender who tweeted, “I apologize to our respected government and to my audience for unintentionally and spontaneously making the dance move at Taif festival. Please accept my apology.”
The Saudi Interior Ministry’s National Commission for Combating Drugs recently banned the move because they consider it to refer to marijuana use. A poster published by the ministry warn “people about the dangers of this [move] on the youth and society, and is warning against imitating it.”
— NCNC |الأمانة العامة (@NCNC_sa) August 6, 2017
Believed to have originated in Atlanta’s Hip Hop scene, dabbing, where a person ducks their head toward their bent elbow, took American culture by storm (and continues, despite running its course). Everyone from 95-year-old actress Betty White, to Migos, to politicians Hillary Clinton and Paul Ryan, to countless athletes have all been “guilty” of performing the move.
Watch the dab at the heart of the controversy above.