TW: mentions of child abuse. A father in Saudi Arabia has been arrested after a clip showing him slapping his baby daughter went viral. In the footage, Yousif Alquatai can be seen berating his little girl as she struggles to stand up. Instead of aiding her, he slaps her around the face as her legs give way, before gripping her by the scruff of her neck and holding her above the ground, according to Daily Mail.
Since the 30-second clip has resurfaced, Alquatai has told the media that it was from a long time ago, and he hopes the world can forgive him. Ironically, he took to Facebook to share an apology, with his daughter beside him.
He told viewers that she is "perfectly fine" and can now walk "by the grace of God." Understandably, the original clip caused a huge sensation online, with many calling for the authorities to get involved. Lebanese actress Nadine Nasib Njeim also voiced her opinion on the subject, by retweeting a post which read, "Children Protection Associations need to intervene urgently, for sure." That sentiment has been echoed the world over.
Soon after the footage gained popularity online, police began to search for the man in the video, who was at that point unnamed. It wasn't long before they tracked Alquatai down. "The man, a Palestinian national in his 40s, has been identified as the culprit and he was arrested from the Casablanca neighborhood, south of the Riyadh City," reads a police statement in the Saudi Gazette. They further elaborated that Alquatai has four children, whom they are providing care for while the investigation is carried out. It's not currently clear if the man is still in custody, or who is looking after the children.
In the same apology video, Alquati shifts the blame from him onto his wife, who is also the mother of his children. He claimed that she subjected him to abuse that caused him "psychological damage", thus supposedly causing him to act in the way he did with his daughter. There has been no word from his wife or the other members of his family about the incident.