Egyptian man arrested for 'having breakfast with female colleague' in Saudi Arabia


Published: 2018-09-10 15:12

Last Updated: 2018-09-10 15:30

Arrested for having breakfast? (YouTube)
Arrested for having breakfast? (YouTube)

Think you might have already heard the most bizarre news story of the day? Wait until you’ve read this one.

An Egyptian man was arrested in Saudi Arabia for simply having breakfast with his female colleague.

If this comes as a shock to you, you’re not the only one.

Thousands of outraged social media users tweeted in disbelief under the trending hashtag “Egyptian man has breakfast with Saudi woman” on Sunday.

The hashtag gained momentum after the man in question posted a viral video of himself and his colleague, who was donning a burka, enjoying breakfast.

“Join us for breakfast… say ‘Bon Appétit’ if you can’t join us though,” the man told the camera.

Meanwhile, his coworker was seen eating bits of food off her plate, before appearing to share some of it with her workmate.

“Eat, eat this Bahaa,” she said.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development justified Bahaa’s arrest in the following statement:

“An expat worker has appeared in a compromising position in a video that was posted on social media. In the video, he was sitting next to a woman behind the reception of one of Jeddah’s serviced apartments. The man was detained after a search team found him guilty of committing several violations (including this one) and assuming a position that was reserved for Saudi nationals only.”

Khalid Abu Al Khail, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour, said that the owner of the venue was called in for interrogation over the mixing of male and female colleagues in the workplace.

Meanwhile, Saudi lawyer and legal consultant Ahmad Ajab told Saudi newspaper Sabq that “Bahaa was being too intimate with a woman whom he has no official relationship with, and his behaviour falls within Article 1 of the Harassment Act, seeing as his attitude was of a suggestive and sexual nature.”

Ajab added that the penalty for Bahaa’s actions could be aggravated to a five-year prison sentence or a $80,000, considering that the incident took place in the workplace.

Sure enough, the large majority of those who tweeted under the viral hashtag were in disagreement with both Ajab and the ministry.

Editor-in-Chief of online Egyptian newspaper e3lam sarcastically tweeted:

“This was the consequence of him having breakfast with his coworker; what would have happened had they had suhoor together?”

“Can’t believe the Egyptian guy is about to get deported & lose his job because Saudi men have such a fragile ego.”

“I can’t believe that we’re in 2018 and ppl are still THIS narrow minded:) THEY’RE HAVING BREAKFAST IN FRONT OF THE WORLD! Like stop this nonsense for goodness sake:) they’re COLLEAGUES WHO ARE HAVING BREAKFAST.”

“Women's rights in Saudi Arabia are limited compared to men. I think eating breakfast with your coworker is a normal thing worldwide, but here if it’s a woman it's a crime. Basically you will be trending worldwide smh.”

“Only in #SaudiArabia will a picture of a Saudi woman having breakfast with an Egyptian colleague cause an outrage! #Misogyny at its finest!”

“We should take all their toys away until they stop behaving like little boys in preschool.”

“Somebody tell me what exactly they did wrong.”

“For real? Arabs never change. They’re Co-workers, rather than trying to make it look like they had sex instead of eating together what about you do some useful exercise called “I’ll mind my own business.” It’s good for your health, and for other ppl as well.”