A man in Saudi Arabia was arrested on Monday for having breakfast with a man. The man who has an Egyptian accent came under the police scanner after he posted a video of eating with a woman on social media. The clip shows the man having breakfast sitting next to a woman wearing a burqa and face veil. In Saudi Arabia, according to the law, inside eateries be it hotels or workplaces, families and single men have to different places.
Women are exempted from carrying out most outside activities without being accompanied by a man, father, husband, brother or son. Be it McDonald's or Starbucks, women have to sit separately from single men. In the 30-second video posted on Twitter, the man jokes about eating breakfast together with nobody else there. Towards the end, the woman appears to feed the man which irked people who lambasted the man on social media.
Here are the pictures from the video that caused the man's arrest:
هُناك اكثر من المصري "بهاء" وسيناريوهاتهم تحدث يوميًا بين اسقف المولات والمجمعات التجارية فـ استحداث الوظائف للسعوديات بين الأجانب يُعد انفلات صريح للعادات والتقاليد والقيم .#مصري_يفطر_مع_سعوديه pic.twitter.com/r8prckcdf1
— حمود الضحيان ابونواف (@H_S_Alduhaiyan) September 9, 2018
In no time, the Arabic hashtag which meant "an Egyptian having breakfast with a Saudi" was used more a lakh times on Twitter. The man was arrested by the Saudi Ministry of Labour and Social Development, who accused him of "committing several violations and taking up a post exclusively reserved for Saudis".
Some users in Saudi said how colleagues should be allowed to joke or eat together which are purely harmless acts. Views also poured in from Egypt with most asking how anyone could be arrested for an unsuspecting act. People also questioned how this arrest went hand in hand with the country's recent progressive measures for women.