'We welcome the son of the garbage collector,' British ambassador tweets

Ahram Online , Wednesday 13 May 2015

The tweet was a tongue in cheek joke by the British Ambassador, in reaction to comments by the former Egyptian minister of justice which were seen as classist leading to his resignation

British ambassador
British ambassador on Twitter

"We welcome the son of the garbage collector," tweeted British ambassador to Egypt John Casson on Wednesday.

The tweet is in stark contrast to comments by the now ex-Egyptian justice minister, who resigned earlier this week.

Casson, whose tweet was in Arabic like many of his previous ones, re-tweeted the embassy's announcement that it is hiring a Community Liaison Officer, commenting "You want to work at the British Embassy? We welcome everyone and we welcome the son of the garbage collector."

The comment from the British ambassador, who's known for his less formal tweets, comes four days after justice minister Mahfouz Saber said in an interview on TV channel Ten that sons of garbage collectors should not be judges.

"A judge should come from a social class suited to the job, with all due respect to garbage collectors,” he replied, when asked if he thought the son of a garbage collector should be appointed as a judge.

His statements were widely attacked as classist and immediately created a controversy which caused him to resign from his post the next day.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab accepted his resignation and said “The cabinet respects all layers of society and appreciates the workers in particular, and is convinced that they are involved in shaping the future of this nation.”

Casson occasionally tweets about lighter topics and has posted photos of his travels around Egypt. He tends to engage with his followers on the microblogging website.

A trending Arabic hastag appeared on Twitter calling for the expulsion of the ambassador from Egypt for his comment, with many users saying it's not his business to comment on what the minister said.


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