Saudi Arabia shocker: Man arrested for sharing breakfast with woman


According to the Saudi judiciary, the "suspect" appears in a video posted on the net while "having breakfast" with a Saudi woman, with her face veiled in full as tradition dictates.

"The government should prosecute those who dare to disrespect Saudi laws and systems, distort the image of our conservative society, and promote moral degradation with the strictest punishment", one user wrote.

Women must sit separately from single men in these places.

"The labour ministry arrested an expatriate in Jeddah after he appeared in an offensive video." .

The man, who is reportedly an Egyptian hotel worker, filmed himself eating breakfast with a female colleague in the hotel where they both work.

The footage shows the pair eating at a desk, and waving at the camera.

Egyptian man arrested for having breakfast with woman in Saudi Arabia lailasnews
Saudi Arabia Has Arrested a Man After an 'Offensive Video' Showed Him Sharing Breakfast With a Woman

Apart from not being able to eat with the opposite gender, women in Saudi Arabia are also not allowed to do most things without being accompanied by their male "guardians".

But the point which has caused the most consternation comes at the end of the video, when the woman appears to feed the man.

After Bahaa posted the video to Twitter, it went viral in Saudi Arabia with the hashtag "Egyptian having breakfast with a Saudi woman", with many expressing outrage, Middle East Eye reported. Decades-long ban against women drivers was also lifted very recently.

The ministry talked about the resort proprietor had been summoned for failing to adhere to authorities regulations that stipulate a gender-segregated workplace.

But the row over this video "underscores the challenges" faced by the royal in his attempts to liberalise the country, the newspaper concludes.

The arrest is at odds with the much-touted reform efforts of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman - known nearly universally as MBS - which seemed to be progressing with the Kingdom's lifting of a ban on women driving, but took a U-turn with the May arrest of at least 11 women activists.