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The New Arab Staff

WATCH: Outrage after Kuwaiti man beats Egyptian cashier

The incident sparked outrage [Twitter]

Date of publication: 27 July, 2020

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A Kuwaiti man slapped an Egyptian cashier at least three times, until security intervened and urged the cashier to not press charges.

A video of a Kuwaiti man assaulting an Egyptian cashier caused outrage in Egypt this weekend, sparking renewed debate about the treatment of foreign workers in the Gulf state.

The man was filmed slapping the Egyptian cashier on the face at least three times, as a woman tried to intervene to stop the assault.

Kuwaiti activists said the cashier wanted to submit a complaint, but was discouraged from doing so by security officials in the commercial complex, who were allegedly trying to "calm down" the situation.

Egypt's ministry of immigration and Egyptian affairs responded to the asssault after the video went viral, saying that Kuwaiti authorities had arrested the suspect.

The ministry issued a statement claiming the incident was a "personal" and "one-off" case.

"Nabila Makram Abdel-Shahid, minister of state for immigration and Egyptian affairs abroad, contacted Ambassador Hisham Asran, consul general of Egypt in Kuwait, to follow up the position of the Egyptian who was assaulted by a citizen at work," the ministry said. 

"During the call, Ambassador Hisham Assran stressed that the incident is an individual and does not represent the strength of the bilateral relations between the two peoples and the stability of hundreds of thousands of Egyptian workers in the State of Kuwait."

Read also: WATCH: Outrage after video shows Ramadan aid volunteer beating migrant worker in food queue

The ministry added: "Ambassador Nabila Makram confirmed her appreciation of the speed of movement by the Consulate General, as well as by the Kuwaiti authorities, which do not differentiate between workers on its soil, and treat the Egyptians as the Kuwaitis."

Activists say that Egyptian workers have been the subject of frequent racist episodes in Kuwait.

In May, a popular Kuwaiti Snapchat influencer was condemned for launching a racist tirade against Egyptians in the Gulf state, calling them "servants" and "hired workers".

In the shocking clip that emerged online, Reem Al-Shammari said that Kuwait is "only for Kuwaitis" and that Egyptians are "hired to serve" the local population.

Al-Shammari went on to claim that Egyptians are "not equal partners" to Kuwaitis like herself and "the worst and dirtiest community in Kuwait".

"You are mere hired people that are brought over with contracts to serve us, then leave. Why don't you understand this?" Al-Shammari said in the clip.

"I do not blame them, I blame my government and authorities who make them [Egyptians] believe they are equal partners in my homeland," she added.

Kuwait, like other Gulf Arab states, relies on a vast population of foreign workers to fill roles ranging from domestic help, construction work, to white-collar jobs.

Some 35 million foreign workers are employed in the six GCC states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as Jordan and Lebanon, according to UN figures.

Foreigners far outnumber locals in most of the Gulf states, accounting for over 80 percent of the population in some countries.

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