Saudi Arabia soap opera showing liberal society prompts fury among hardliners

With scenes of unveiled women and mixed-sex musical soirees, a new Saudi Arabian soap opera, set in the 1970s, is evoking nostalgia about the kingdom’s modern past, before the rise of religious fundamentalism.

But, with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s liberalising plans for the country, it is also giving viewers an unintended taste of what could be to come.

Al Assouf (Homesick), which was aired on local MBC satellite channel every night during the holy month of Ramadan, portrays a traditional but tolerant society where women blithely pursue lovers who appear disinterested in controlling what they wear.