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“I have seen evil from the eyes of the subversive fatwas in a time when what is lawful is confused with what is not lawful;

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 [referring to suicide bombing];

He speaks from an official, powerful platform, terrorizing people and preying on everyone seeking peace; the voice of courage ran away and the truth is cornered and silent, when self-interest prevented one from speaking the truth.”

A rough translation of Hilal’s poem by Hassan Hassan at The National

A former journalist and poetry editor for a Saudi newspaper, a housewife and the mother of four children, Hissa Hilal is the voice of hope in the mid eastern country Saudi Arabia. She is a contestant on the game show ‘Poet of Millions’, the regions version of Idols. Only here contenders don’t sing but recite traditional Arabic poetry. Miss Hilal sparked controversy in her country and on the internet by reciting poems that criticized Muslim clerics. She won the praise of the judges for her courage.
Speeding through Hilal’s translated poems, I found her very intelligent and gifted. She is very expressive and the poems are very accessible to the reader. The opposition to the problematic clerics in the region has found a soft spoken but powerful voice. So far the hard-line Muslim clerics in the Arab region have had it easy. They use the media, academic positions and other powerful platforms to send out their orthodox message, without a loud opposition sound. Although their scream for fatwa’s are not binding, they have followers who listings and at times carried out the order as well. And these days there seems to be fatwa’s on everything. The clerics are increasingly losing their credibility as the majority of people get weary of their ever growing demands. Nevertheless, Hissa Hilal seems to be the next target by extremists and extreme websites in the region who would like to see the status quo maintain. She has been criticized for going public with her powerful poems. But this brave women is not afraid of the odds, she’s doing this for a better world.

The game show ‘Poet of Millions’ is broadcasted live every week on satellite television across the Arab world from Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates. The winner of the competition will receive a $1.3 million and as a final contestant, each person is assured of a $270.000. As millions of people are tuned in every week, criticizing the region clerics could have a serious consequence. But Hissa has stressed she is aware of the threats but will not go into hiding. Hissa Hilal is a strategist; she chose this platform and delivered her stunning message to the Arab world wearing a Burqa. The Burqa is a controversial cloth that covers a woman from head to foot. Covering herself from head to toe made her message more dramatic and recognisable to her audience. She was the first female contestant to make it to the finals where she will face off with five other poets. Her beautiful poems and her bravery act have already won the hearts of millions around the region and beyond.

The Soul Rebel Movement salutes Hissa Hilal and every woman standing up for justice and truth. We wholeheartedly support you on this courageous journey. Thank you for your enlightenment, you are a true inspiration.

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