George Chrysomilides, president of the Canadian Education Network, said there hasn't been an incident like this in the 10 years Canada has attended the event, and he plans to get to the bottom of it.
“From what I hear … the religious police were very rude. They shouted at them in a way that was disrespectful and they shut down the booth, the Canadian embassy booth as well as the LaSalle College booth,” Mr. Chrysomilides said in an interview Monday.
Foreign Affairs spokesman Bernard Nguyen said he was waiting to hear details of the incident that took place last Wednesday.
But the Canadian embassy in Saudi Arabia put out a statement over the weekend, protesting against the actions of authorities in the region.
“Such unprofessional incidents are very damaging to Saudi Arabia's international reputation,” the embassy said.
“Prior to the event, we specifically inquired whether women staff would be permitted at the exhibition and we were told by the organizers, the Al-Harithy Company, that they would.”
Women in Saudi Arabia are expected to cover themselves in public and are not allowed to work in mixed environments in the ultra-conservative kingdom.
I think this is obviously inappropriate. By throwing women out for working in the fair, what kind of message does that send to young women attending the fair? Thoughts?