‘Rude’ e-mail lands Arab woman in court

An Arab woman who sent a work e-mail with the word ‘rude’ landed in trouble as she stood trial at Sharjah Misdemeanours Court. The woman was charged with insult and humiliation.

According to the victim a misunderstanding occurred between her and her colleague at a real estate company, following which the latter sent an e-mail containing offensive statements. The colleague then filed a case, claiming that she was offended as when translated to Arabic, the word “rude” could mean ‘a promiscuous woman’.

While, the accused said that she used the word just to say that her colleague’s response was “unpleasant and strong”, which could be inferred from its English meaning. The two presented a translation and definition of ‘rude’ from an accredited office of the Ministry of Justice.

The plaintiff refused to withdraw the case, though the suspect sent in an e-mail apology. She said she had lost her job because of the incident and had suffered material damages, besides the psychological harm it brought her, according to a Khaleej Times report.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office has requested that experts and competent authorities be consulted about the exact meaning of the word ‘rude’ in Arabic.

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