By Spooky | 12 September 2018
An Egyptian man working as a hotel receptionist in Saudi Arabia was recently arrested after posting a short video of himself having breakfast with a fully-veiled female co-worker on social media.
The man, known only as “Bahaa”, was arrested on Sunday after a video of himself having breakfast with a female co-worker at a Jeddah hotel attracted a lot of unwanted attention on social media. The short clip shows only Bahaa and a fully-veiled woman eating breakfast, but that was apparently a clear violations of a Saudi law that states that workplaces and eateries should have separate spaces for men and women. It drew condemnation from the vast majority of Saudis, who saw this behavior as incompatible with Saudi culture.
“The government should prosecute those who dare to disrespect Saudi laws and systems, distort the image of our conservative society, and promote moral degradation with the strictest punishment…” one Twitter user commented.
Others said that the woman should be punished as well, as she also participated in this “farce”.
“I need to understand why men are constantly punished and not women,” a Saudi woman wrote. “I am a Saudi and I swear I want them to punish her with him. Laughter, eating at the workplace… where are your limits?”
— Meem (@Meem_reflection) September 9, 2018
After the attack on his first video, Bahaa posted a second one in which he describes people’s reaction as exaggerated, considering that he was only having breakfast with a co-worker. Well, he’ll be having breakfast in jail for a while, as authorities had him arrested for posting an “offensive” video on social media. He will most likely get deported for his mistake.
The hotel owner was also summoned for explanations, specifically why he failed to adhere to regulations related to women’s behavior in the workplace, and why he had hired an expat to do a job that should have been exclusive to Saudis.
While most Saudis declared themselves outraged by Bahaa’s video, there were those who considered his arrest and people’s reactions outrageous.
In any normal country this is considered as a personal business, but in Saudi Arabia this will lead you to the prison, and all the society will discuss your story. We are in the deep shit, somebody must help us!
— ك (@h_i_h_i__q) September 9, 2018
“If you are a ruler and commit adultery on air, we will pray for your [divine] guidance. But if you are an Egyptian migrant worker, eating fries with your female colleague?? Straight to prison, you infidel!” one Twitter user said.
“Fake religiosity: when you are aggressive with the weak and lenient with the powerful…” another person added.
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