Hashtag: مصري يفطر مع سعودية which translates to “Egyptian man having breakfast with Saudi woman” has been trending among social media users in Saudi Arabia and several parts of the Middle East with around 55,000 tweets.
It might seem a normal thing to have breakfast with your female colleague but not in the ultra-conservative Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where it is still arguable whether women are allowed to go to work or not.
The hashtag went viral after the video was widely-shared among Saudis, of an Egyptian employee in one of the companies in Jeddah having breakfast with his Saudi female colleague.
The video was taken by the Egyptian man who appears in the video setting beside his niqabi colleague and having lunch. At one point the women appears to feed her colleague, which many argue is the reason for the outrage.
Hours after the video was shared, the official Twitter account of the Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development released a statement saying they arrested the man who appeared in the video in Jeddah.
According to the statement, the ministry also confirmed they called the owner of the company to investigate the “violation of the women working conditions” in his company.
Opinion online has been divided between critics of the authorities, who regard the man's arrest as extreme and uncalled for.
Others weighed in on the controversy calling authorities to take serious action against the man and the woman who appeared in the video. They also blamed the woman for allowing the man to have breakfast with her.
Translation: “You should punish the company’s owner and then the people who appeared in the video.”
Some went to blame Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for allowing this to happen, referring to his decisions of allowing women to drive and be more open than before.
Translation: “What is with the double standard? Isn’t this the Saudi Arabia that Mohammed bin Salman want?”
Saudi Arabia has been known for its ultra-conservative society and its oppressive laws against women. Lately, new laws and regulations have allowed women to go to work in several fields after years of being entitled only to certain industries, mainly for teaching jobs in schools.
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