Kuwaiti MP Safaa al-Hashim arrives to attend the opening ceremony of the new legislative year at the National Assembly in Kuwait City, on October 24, 2017 - AFP/Yasser Al-Zayyat
CAIRO – 14 November 2018: Going off the track, Egyptian and Kuwaiti peoples started to ignore the main issue of an Egyptian woman’s assault in Kuwait, after Safaa al-Hashim, a Kuwaiti MP, managed to accidentally have all the attention on her, over her remarks against the Egyptian immigration minister and the state’s policy.
An Egyptian expat residing in Kuwait, recorded a video complaining that she was assaulted by five people while she was having a walk with her husband and children. Subsequently, Egyptian Immigration Minister Nabila Makram defended the expat, saying that “the dignity of Egyptian citizens and Egyptian women in specific is a red line. However, we respect Kuwaiti authorities and judiciary.”
Makram’s remarks seemingly angered Hashim, the only female member to be elected to the Kuwaiti Parliament. Hashim blamed Makram for speaking about dignity, saying that “we have been generous to those people you are talking about that some of them [started] to cross the red line [against] the Kuwaiti citizen.”
Moreover, Hashim referred to the Egyptian engineering student Mariam Mostafa, who died earlier this year after she was beaten in Nottingham, UK, by 10 women of African descent. Although the incident was tragic, Hashim asserted that Makram did not speak about “dignity” following the accident, and that no procedure has been taken, a claim that has been slammed earlier by Parliament spokesman Salah Hasaballah.
Nabila Makram replies
Makram’s reply to Hashim’s remarks managed to gain respect and praise of numerous Egyptian and Kuwaiti officials although it has not been as sharp.
Makram only thanked Egyptians for the support, urging them not to reply to the "abusive" remarks. She added that “Egyptians have morals and standards” and do not abuse who abuse them.
“I, as a minister, and I, who have been abused, don’t want anyone to ever reply,” Makram said, addressing the Egyptian people. She also urged them to totally ignore Hashim’s remarks, adding that neglect ends the issue.
Although the immigration minister has urged Egyptians to consider the issue as “personal,” apparently, many citizens, including celebrities, have considered that Hashim has insulted not only the Egyptian policies, but also the people and the country.
Ahmed al-Jarallah, the Kuwaiti newspaper Arab Times’ chief editor, commented on Hashim’s attack on Makram, saying on Twitter that criticizing the Egyptian working expats and the minister does not reflect the relations between the peoples of the two countries.
“Let us consider this issue as [personal] and ineffective to the Kuwaiti relations with Egypt and the Egyptian people, "Jarallah said.
An Egyptian lawyer consequently submitted a complaint to Attorney General Nabil Sadek against Hashim on charges of assaulting the Egyptian people, country and state institutions.
The complaint, written by lawyer Amr Abdel Salam, said that Hashim’s speech encompassed statements that include “racism, oppression and harassment”against the Egyptian people, country and state institutions.
It also argued that Hashim’s speech expresses ignorance of the nature of relations between the Egyptian and Kuwaiti people, and the role of the Egyptian people, and its army, that fought to liberate the land of Kuwait from the Iraqi occupation in 1990.
Also, lawyer Samir Sabry filed a lawsuit calling on the Egyptian interior minister to place the name of Hashim on the country’s list of those forbidden from entering the Egyptian territory.
Sabry accused Hashim of attempting to create a strife between the two states. He said that the Kuwaiti people will respond to the MP that has abused Minister Makram.