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
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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.


Mo Salah’s wife: Egyptian women’s icon who shuns limelight

Updated 18 September 2019

Mo Salah’s wife: Egyptian women’s icon who shuns limelight

  • Salah prefers to keep his private life in general away from the glare of the media

CAIRO: Magi Sadeq, 25, is known for keeping a low profile in the media compared to the wives of other footballers. 

The wife of Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah has become something of a celebrity in her own right after appearing with her husband while maintaining a conservative look.

Salah prefers to keep his private life in general away from the glare of the media, but sometimes there is no escaping the spotlight for his wife and daughter.

Sadeq appeared with her husband at celebrations held by the Confederation of African Football when Salah won the African Player of the Year award. She also appeared with their daughter Makka during celebrations marking Salah’s winning of the Premier League Golden Boot award, and after Liverpool won the 2019 UEFA Champions League.

Sadeq was born and raised in Nagrig, a village in Gharbia where Salah was also born. It is the same place where they like to spend their holidays and special occasions whenever they have the chance.

FASTFACT

Sadeq appeared with her husband at celebrations held by the Confederation of African Football when Salah won the African Player of the Year award.

She has a twin sister, Mohab, and two other sisters, Mahy and Miram. Their parents were both teachers at Mohamed Eyad Al-Tantawi School, where she met the future Egyptian international.

Sadeq, who maintains a simple lifestyle, fell in love with Salah 10 years before they married. Their love story was the talk of the town where they lived.

They were married in 2013 as the player started taking his first steps in Europe with Swiss football club Basel. They married when he returned home for his first holiday.  

She keeps her husband connected to his rural roots. She doesn’t have any social media accounts, and unlike other footballer’s wives, she is not interested in appearance and makeup. She prefers to wear body-covering conservative clothes.

Sadeq and her twin sister both obtained their degrees in biotechnology from Alexandria University. She is responsible for her husband’s charity work in Egypt. Her neighbors say that she helps in buying the necessary home appliances and other needs of newly married couples. She also supervises charity work and regularly attends the special events staged by her village even though she has been made busier after her husband joined Liverpool.

Salah once said of his wife: “I am unfair to Magi as I give her the least of my time due to the nature of my work. I would like to thank her for her support and for being in my life.”