Saudi Arabia arrests man over breakfast with woman

Lloyd Doyle
September 12, 2018

Saudi authorities have arrested an Egyptian hotel worker who appeared in what officials described as an "offensive" video eating breakfast with a female co-worker.

"The labour ministry arrested an expatriate in Jeddah after he appeared in an offensive video", the ministry said in a statement, adding that the pair's employer was summoned.

Saudi Arabia prohibits men and women who are not related from socializing.

The US government-funded Al Hurra TV network later reported that the man could face charges of sexual harassment in the workplace and up to five years in prison. For most activities, women are required to be accompanied by a male guardian, typically a close male relative.

Others have called for the woman to be prosecuted as well while many rallied around the two colleagues under the hashtag "an Egyptian having breakfast with a Saudi" which has been used over 100,000 times. The point that has prompted the most anger is at the end of the 30-second video when the woman appears to feed the man.

Twitter user Malak said: "I need to understand why men are constantly punished and not women. Laughter, eating at the workplace. where are your limits?"

In particular, people pointed out the discrepancies between the arrest and the country's recent progression in women's rights, where women were given the right to drive in May.

The detainee, identified by local media as an Egyptian national, was also accused of "taking up a post exclusively reserved for Saudis", under rules dictating which jobs may be taken by expat workers.

Long known for its ultra-conservative mores, the kingdom has tried to modernise its image with a programme of wide-ranging social and economic reforms, driven by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Because he was Egyptian and she was Saudi.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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