Egyptian arrested after eating breakfast with Saudi woman

Egyptian arrested after eating breakfast with Saudi woman
2 min read
10 September, 2018
In a video widely shared on social media, an Egyptian man and Saudi woman are seen eating breakfast at a desk and waving at the camera.
The Egyptian hotel worker posted the video on social media. [Twitter]
An Egyptian hotel worker has been detained in Saudi Arabia after eating breakfast with a female Saudi colleague, the kingdom's labour ministry said this weekend.

In a video widely shared on social media, the pair can be seen eating breakfast at a desk and waving at the camera.

At one point the woman - who cannot be identified as her face is covered by a niqab - feeds the man a piece of food.

Labour ministry officials said an inspection team visited the unidentified hotel in Mecca and detained the Egyptian worker for violations, including working in a profession restricted to Saudi citizens.

The hotel owner was also summoned by authorities for "for failing to adhere to spatial controls for employing women", a labour ministry statement said.

Government regulations in Saudi Arabia stipulate that work places should ensure a private setting for female employees separate from men.

Riyadh's public prosecutor later issued a statement urging foreign residents to adhere to the kingdom's laws and respect its traditions.

Long known for its ultra-conservative mores, the kingdom has tried to modernise its image with a programme of wide-ranging social and economic reforms, driven by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Under his helm, Saudi Arabia in June ended a long-standing ban on women driving and launched a number of projects aimed at attracting tourists.

But the crown prince's efforts to portray himself as a reformer while continuing a devastating bombing campaign in Yemen, as well as a brutal crackdown on activists at home, including women's rights campaigners.

Prince Mohammed has led a year-long blockade of Qatar, cracked down on critics and potential rivals, and has been accused of forcing the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign while in Riyadh.



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