A picture of a husband and wife at a Saudi restaurant that was circulated online. Image Credit: Sabq

Manama: A picture of a Saudi husband who covered the sight of his wife with his headscarf in a restaurant continues to draw both praise and criticism from online users in the kingdom and beyond.

The picture of the couple sitting together in a restaurant was posted on social media, drawing both appreciation and disapproval from more than 100,000 people in a matter of days.

The man, wearing his traditional white thobe, is seen sitting at a table with his wife in the traditional black abaya. However, only a small part of the woman can be seen as the man had placed his red headscarf against the glass partition. The man's facial features could not be distinguished through the opaque glass.

Several users praised the husband for "protecting" his wife, saying he was right to cover his wife's outline and enjoy the private moment with her.

They said that the situation should not be seen as abnormal and should respect the man's right to personal privacy.

They refuted claims the husband was living outside modern times by stressing that he had taken his wife to a restaurant and did not leave her at home while he enjoyed the company of friends.

One woman, BintS, said that she greatly appreciated his level of jealousy, explaining that it was a clear indication of his deep love for his wife.

Those who opposed the situation said that while they appreciated the right to privacy, they could not condone the "overzealous" reaction and "overprotective" attitude of a man in a public place.

They argued the woman was not someone to bring shame to her husband and should be treated with respect and dignity.

Abdullah, an online user, said that the husband's jealousy was shockingly exaggerated and should not be explained or appreciated.

Ayedh Al Qarni, a lawyer, told Saudi news site Sabq that the picture widely circulated on social media could not be classified as a cybercrime as the facial features of the husband could not be seen.

"It cannot be a cybercrime because there are no elements that classify it as such," he said. "There is no breach of the privacy of other people or an attempt to defame or abuse them in any way."