Parts of the blogosphere appear to be in a tizzy over a recent parody of Roy Orbison’s classic “Oh, Pretty Woman.” Now a hit on YouTube, Saad Haroon’s “Burqa Woman,” tells the story of a young man’s fumbling attempt to woo a woman in abaya and niqab, who, after much cajoling, reciprocates amorously via text message. Modern technology appears to connect the two lovers in a country where public displays of affection and mixed social gatherings are generally frowned upon.
Saad Haroon is a Pakistani comedian, actor, writer and the creator of two improvisational comedy troupes “BlackFish” and “SHARK.” He is also the brain behind “The Real News,” a satiric news show for Pakistani audiences. “Burqa Woman” is meant to be a precursor to an upcoming TV show about stand-up comedians, which will likely help the freshman show draw viewers if all the controversy surrounding the video is right, content notwithstanding.
The music video, in which Haroon parodies a man in love, makes several tongue-in-cheek comments about the value of the niqab in a society burdened by vapid Talibanization and (as the video attempts to show) the ensuing hypocrisy of those who appear “devoid of sin.” As a result, the video has received hoards of comments online (669 on last count), both in favor and against.