Beauty brands sever ties with Kuwaiti blogger over remarks on Filipino domestic workers

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Beauty brands sever ties with Kuwaiti blogger Sondos Al-Qattan over remarks on Filipino maids. (Screengrab from YouTube)
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Beauty brands sever ties with Kuwaiti blogger Sondos Al-Qattan over remarks on Filipino maids. (Photo courtesy of Instagram @sondos_aq)
Updated 24 July 2018

Beauty brands sever ties with Kuwaiti blogger over remarks on Filipino domestic workers

CAIRO: Two international domestic brands have reportedly cut off their ties with a Kuwaiti Instagram star who said she was upset Filipino domestic workers in her country were getting a couple days off a month.
Sondo Al-Qattan faces criticism for a video posted on July 10 to Instagram in which she attacked measures introduced in May that grant Filipinos working in the oil-rich Gulf state one day off per week and prevent employers from keeping their passports.
Al-Qattan, known for her Internet make-up tutorials, told AFP by phone that the outcry was “unjustified” and did not require an apology.
Apparently, French perfume brand M. Micallef and London-based Chelsea Beautique that feature the beauty blogger have decided to sever ties with her after her comments sparked outrage on social media.
A spokesperson for M. Micallef told Gulf News in an email the company “deeply regret the relationship with her” and that it is is being terminated “with immediate effect.”
Cosmetics brand Chelsea Beautique also said in a statement that they had decided to remove a video featuring Al-Qattan from their channels.
Al-Qattan, who has 2.3 million followers on Instagram, faced huge backlash for criticizing Kuwait’s new labor law.
“All I said was that the employer was entitled to keep the servant’s passport, and that many Kuwaitis and Gulf nationals agree with me,” said Al-Qattan.
“I have the right as a kafil (sponsor) to keep my employee’s passport, and I am responsible for paying a deposit of up to 1,500 dinars (around $4,900),” she said.
Al-Qattan insisted the practices are not an “insult to the employee, and do not concern humanity or human rights because I did not deprive the employee of her salary or beat her.”
“The servant lives in the house just like the owners, he eats the same food, sleeps, rests and goes out shopping... this is a natural right. He’s not like a waiter who works fixed hours, so we give him a weekly leave,” she added.
Qattan’s comments in the now deleted clip sparked outrage on social media, with many Twitter and Instagram users calling on brands that work with the makeup artist to sever ties.
Migrante International, an advocacy outfit for Filipinos working overseas, called on Qattan to apologize and likened her comments to those of “a slave owner.”
On May 11, Kuwait and Manila signed an agreement regulating domestic labor, following a diplomatic crisis that led to a ban on Filipino workers going to work in the Gulf country.
In February, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte imposed a partial ban on workers traveling to Kuwait after a Filipino maid was murdered and her body found in a freezer.
The crisis deepened after Kuwaiti authorities in April expelled Manila’s ambassador over video footage of Philippine embassy staff helping workers escape employers accused of mistreatment.


Married only minutes, Texas newlyweds killed in crash

Updated 25 August 2019

Married only minutes, Texas newlyweds killed in crash

  • Judge who married the couple also pronounced them dead at the scene

ORANGE, Texas: Harley Morgan was still wearing his dark suit and Rhiannon Boudreaux her wedding dress when the Texas “childhood sweethearts” were killed in a crash with a truck minutes after they were married.
Nineteen-year-old Morgan and 20-year-old Boudreaux were pronounced dead Friday at the scene by the same justice of the peace who had just married them.
“I’m talking five minutes. You may kiss the bride,” said Orange Police Cpt. Keith Longlois. “The family was right behind them. They were all going out to go to wherever they were going to have their reception,” he said.
Longlois said they were “childhood sweethearts” who decided to be married by a popular Orange County Justice of the Peace Joy Dubose-Simonton.
He said the groom was driving when he tried to exit the driveway of the Justice of The Peace building onto a five-lane highway. A truck pulling a trailer carrying a heavy tractor slammed into their vehicle. The force was so great that witnesses said the car flipped multiple times before coming to rest in a ditch.
The driver of the truck was not identified but Longlois said he was cooperating with the investigation and there was no sign of wrongdoing. Drug and alcohol tests would be conducted, he said.
“I had to sit there and watch my two babies die,” the mother of the groom, LaShawna Morgan, told the Beaumont Enterprise.