Kuwait blogger shows no sign of backing down

Sondos Al Qattan says criticism against her is aimed at “Islam, Kuwait and Gulf”

Cairo: Kuwaiti social media star, Sondos Al Qattan, who triggered an outcry over her criticism of a move to improve working conditions of Philippine domestic workers in her country, has said that criticising her “targets Islam, Kuwait and the Gulf”.

In May, Kuwait and the Philippines signed an agreement giving domestic helpers a day off every week and banning employers from keeping their passports. The pact came amid a diplomatic crisis over alleged abuses against Filipinos in the Gulf state.

Al Qattan called the new rules a “farce” and insisted on the employer’s right to keep the housemaid’s passport, remarks that brought her accusations of racism. Some brands have stopped collaboration with Al Qattan in reaction to her comments.

Showing no signs of backdown, Al Qattan, who has 2.3 million Instagram followers, has struck back.

“I did not make a mistake. All this attack is because I am a Muslim, wearing the hijab and belong to the Gulf,” she said in an online video.

“What have slavery and racism to do with my keeping the domestic worker’s passport in order to safeguard my safety and right? The issue is not personal, what is happening against me amounts to targeting the hijab, Islam and Kuwait. I trust in God to deal with enemies of Islam.”

She reprimanded her detractors, telling them to shift their sights to rights violations in the Gaza, Iraq and Syria.

Al Qattan said no brand had officially notified her of stopping cooperation.

“Once this happens, I’ll release the emails so that you can boycott their products,” she told her followers.


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