Jul 25, 2018

In case you missed it, this Kuwaiti makeup artist and social media influencer went on headlines last week when she took to social media to express her disgust over the recent Kuwaiti law. TRT News, which first broke out the story, recently translated a video Sondos Alqattan posted on Snapchat, and boy, is there a lot to unpack.

“Okay, let’s just close this issue because it’s not even important,” she begins. “There are way more important things in life, like botox.” She then proceeds to explain that the law is unjust because, as all humans are equal, it makes no sense that Filipino and Indian contracts will differ (i.e. under the new law, she can keep an Indian worker’s passport, but not a Filipino’s). “They’re all humans. There isn’t a Filipino better than an Indian,” she says. She adds that as an employer, she also has her rights.

While what she said shows no remorse or a newfound awareness of workers’ rights on her part, it does force us to put the issue into perspective: Now that Kuwait has passed down a law that empowers and protects Filipino workers, maybe it’s time for the Gulf State to start uplifting the rights of workers of all nationalities.

Aside from the Snapchat video, Alqattan also posted two texts, one in English and one in Arabic, on her Instagram account. In the English text, she reiterates her view that employers should be entitled to keep their “expat employee’s” passports to protect their own interests, and she assures that she has never mistreated or abused any of her employees.

She also bizarrely takes time to thank people who’ve commented on her appearance, saying, “I want to take the opportunity to thank all of those who said ‘beautiful from the outside but not necessarily the same from the inside.’ Thank you for stating that I’m beautiful from the outside.”

In the aftermath of the scandal, the social media influencer and beauty blogger has lost multiple brand deals. Some of the brands include Max Factor Arabia, French perfume brand M. Micallef, and English brand Chelsea Beautique.

Migrante International, an overseas Filipino workers’ rights group, has demanded an apology from her, while a separate group, Blas F. Ople Policy Center, has called on the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to bar Alqattan from hiring a Filipino worker. In response, POEA head Undersecretary Bernard Olalia has stated that employers who refuse to comply with the law should be blacklisted, and has vowed to put Alqattan on the blacklist.


Photo courtesy of Alqattan’s Instagram account.

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TAGS: nolisoliph OFW OFW rights sondos alqattan