Lebanese singer rocks Riyadh in first female only concert


Riyadh - Applause and shrieks of joy erupted as Lebanese singer Hiba Tawaji dazzled Riyadh  in its first female-only music concert , as Saudi Arabia seeks to ease social restrictions on women .

Tawaji performed to a packed audience at the cavernous King Fahd Cultural Centre late Wednesday, the latest in a series of concerts by international artists as the austere kingdom seeks to boost entertainment options.

'I came especially from Jizan to watch this concert' said Nafees Awad, a university student from the southern province, more than 950 kilometres (590 miles) from Riyadh  .

'We are so happy to watch such a concert it's the first time' in Riyadh , she added.

The concert highlights how the kingdom is easing some of its tight restrictions on women .

Under the country's guardianship system, a male family member -- normally the father, husband or brother -- must grant permission for a woman's study, travel and other activities.