Saudi TV channel allows 'fully covered' women presenters
- Malaysia Airlines plane may have turned back before vanshing, says Air force chief
- BJP complains to EC against Rahul over RSS remarks, seeks derecognition of Congress
- Subrata Roy arrest row: The not-so-beautiful story
- Vajpayee wanted Modi to quit over Gujarat riots, but party said no: Venkaiah Naidu
- Internal battle in BJP out in open: M M Joshi seeks clarity on Varanasi seat
A television channel in Saudi Arabia has become the first of its kind in the country to allow women presenters on its shows but only if they are covered with a 'hijab' (veil) from head to toe.
Awtan TV, a religious channel, has come up with a show that discusses issues concerning teenage girls and female university students, with its presenters dressed in black.
The show -- Asrar Al-Banat or The Secrets of Girls -- has 26-year-old media graduate Sawsan Salah Al-Deen, her sister, Sarah, a specialist in blood diseases, and psychologist Nawal Dawood as its presenters, Arab News said in a report.
Directed by Sa'ad Al-Obaid, the show also receives live phone calls from the public. Commenting on how she looks on TV, Sawsan said, "The channel is an Islamic one and has a rule that I appear in full hijab."
Appearing on television for the first time, Sawsan said she was initially quite anxious. Her family, however, has been supportive, particularly since the programme reaches out to young women.
There are over 60 religious satellite channels broadcast across the Middle East. Channels such as Iqraa and Al-Resalah have women presenters who reportedly do not cover their faces and appear in coloured clothing. 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," the report said.