Saudi man arrested for having breakfast with woman

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Saudi man arrested for having breakfast with woman

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.

Women must sit separately from single men in these places.

The man, who has not been named, was arrested in the port city of Jeddah by the Saudi Ministry of Labour and Social Development, which accused him of "committing several violations".

An Egyptian hotel worker who was seen in an online video eating breakfast with a female Saudi colleague was arrested by Saudi Arabian authorities, said the labour ministry, which also summoned the owner of the hotel that employed the man for questioning.

In the 30-second video, the man and woman briefly joke about eating their breakfast together, with nobody else invited. What seems to have enraged people more is the fact that the woman can be seen feeding the man. The man who has an Egyptian accent came under the police scanner after he posted a video of eating with a woman on social media.

The Egyptian national was arrested on Sunday evening and charged by Saudi authorities with failing to adhere to government regulations that stipulate Saudi Arabia's policy of gender-segregation in the workplace.

In Egypt, many people reacted with surprise at the outcry from Saudi Arabia and wondered how anyone could be arrested for what they regarded as an innocuous video.

Arch-conservatives widely criticized the video and the public prosecution urged expats in the kingdom to respect "values and traditions of Saudi society".

Among a number of social reforms spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, women have been granted the right to drive, but activists are facing a clampdown on dissent.

The backlash underscores the challenges that the prince faces as he seeks to modernize a country steeped in conservatism. The man speaks in an Egyptian dialect in the video and it was not clear if the woman was Saudi.

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