As per the chairman of Bahrain-based family conglomerate Kanoo Group, Kuwaiti influencer Sondos Al Qattan, who sparked universal outrage over controversial comments about domestic workers, has a ‘free right’ to her view of point.
One of the Gulf’s most well known businessman, Mishal Kanoo said Arabian Business that Al Qattan should be capable to convey her point of view.
He said, “This is her opinion. I don’t support it, but she is fully within her right to have her opinion and she should have the free space to say it.”
Al Qattan, a makeup artist with 2.3 million followers on Instagram, criticised Kuwait’s legislation designed to protect the right of Filipina domestic workers.
She told in a video in July, “The new laws that have been passed [in Kuwait] are like a pathetic film. For her [domestic worker] to take a day off every week, that’s four days a month. Those are the days that she’ll be out. And we don’t know what she’ll be doing on those days, with her passport on her.”
She also added, “How can you have a ‘servant’ at home who keeps their own passport with them?”
The backlash saw a number of brands, involving Anastasia Beverly Hills and MAC Cosmetics, cut ties with the social media star.
This resulted Al Qattan to disclose another video where she reports that the matter has been gone out of part, and that there are “more important things in life, like Botox”.
While Kanoo does not agree with Al Qattan, he thinks laws all around domestic workers should be made ‘clearer’ as a household cannot be in comparison to a regular, corporate business environment.
He said, “I think a full discussion needs to take place to help domestic workers know their rights, but also help employers know what they can legally do. I mean, no one should work 7 days a week, but a house is not like a business from 9 to 5. [There needs to be] a clearer way to be fair to both employer and employees.”
The chairman said that he advises influencers like Al Qattan to think before they speak.
He said, “We have an Arabic poem that says, ‘Your tongue is your horse. If you take care of it, it will take care of you. If you betray it, it will betray you’.”
In a tweet on July 26, Kanoo had advised Al Qattan to ask for forgiveness for her comments.
He also said, “She just doesn’t get it. Just apologize for the stupid statements and try to be a better person. But no. she had to defend her position. When will she learn?”.
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