Saudi officials sacked, suspended after fight videos go viral

Saudi officials sacked, suspended after fight videos go viral
2 min read
04 September, 2015
Two Saudi officials have been shown the door after videos of them arguing with ordinary citizens were shared on social media, leading to wide spread condemnation from the Saudi Twittersphere.
The videos have caused a stir in Twitter obsessed Saudi Arabia [YouTube]
Mobile phone video footage showing a senior official shouting and kicking a man out of his office has led to the official's dismissal from his position in the city of Taif, in eastern Mecca Province.

Mohammed al-Faye, a senior official in charge of construction in the city, was sacked for his "inappropriate behaviour" in the viral video, which showed Faye's contempt for a seemingly ordinary citizen who had come to the office to apply for official paperwork.

The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs released a statement on Thursday evening:

"His excellency the minister has decided to dismiss Faye from his position… this has come after a video has recently been shared [on social media] of him in a verbal confrontation with a man applying for documents who went to his office to finalise procedures."
     You want to complain, go complain. I am not going to look at any [papers] for you. Get out of here


In the video - which seems to have been filmed without Faye's knowledge - the official can be heard shouting: "You want to complain, go complain. I am not going to look at any [papers] for you. Get out of here - the door is behind you."

Saif al-Ghamdi, the man understood to be in the argument with Faye, replies: "I am a citizen and it's your job to help me."

In a tragic turn of events, Ghamdi, a military police officer who had been trying - for two years - to apply for a building permit, was killed in a car accident a few hours after the argument took place, according to local news.

The video caused a stir on Twitter, with many Saudis expressing their anger at the official.

"Ninety-nine percent of Saudi civil servants in government offices treat people in the same temperamental way and get in the way of their interests," tweeted Fahd al-Enzi.

Misfer al-Ghamdi agreed: "Government civil servants are here to serve the people. They have to respect citizens and help them out has much as they can - contrary to what I've seen in the video."

This week another similar video went viral of a school official in the far northern province of Turaif insulting the fathers of students after they asked to speak to the headmaster.

Local news has reported that the official has been dismissed until investigations are completed.