Halil’s poem gives way to death threats for her

Saudi-PoetAfter receiving death threats for criticizing "ad hoc fatwas" on Million's Poet, the female Saudi poet, Hissa Hilal, has requested her fellow competitors to use the show to stand up for what they believe in.

Hilal who has four kids, feels that most of the times, the poet recited works praising "themselves, or a famous person of their tribe".

She explained, "But this is a platform that can help you to reach the world. The ball is in your court."

A poem, which talked about issue with "ad hoc fatwas", including one by Sheikh Abdul Rahman al Barrak, a Saudi cleric who called on his website for the execution of anyone who said the mixing of sexes was permitted in Islam, was recited by Mrs. Hilal two weeks ago.

The poem by Hilal, who worked as a journalist earlier, and recently gave way to controversy in Saudi Arabia though her poem and lively exchanges on internet forums. While many appreciated her by calling her courageous, other simply thought her to be good for death.

The threats were defied by her on this week's show on Wednesday by reciting a similar poem about the media, a topic chosen by the panel of judges.

As of now, Mrs Hilal and Mr. Al Assaimar, a Kuwaiti, lead the rankings with 28 points each going into the finale, followed by Falah al Mowraqi, another Kuwaiti, with 27 points. Jazaa al Baqmi, a Saudi, and Nasser al Ajami, also a Kuwaiti, all have 26 points.

It will be next Wednesday, when the finale will be broadcast.