I can’t get over the amount of fantastic publications that are currently in circulation here in Lebanon. Every time I come across another one, and this time it’s Hibr, I feel like I’ve been missing out.. There aren’t enough hours in the day to digest all of the great content out there!!..but rest assured, I am trying my best.
I was handed this copy of Hibr while at the Geekfest last week, and the first thing that caught my attention was the huge blurb on the front page reading, “I’m pregnant..now what?” The article, written by Ali Wehbe, is excellent. I have been preparing a response, but seeing how abortion is such a culturally sensitive issue here in Lebanon and in the region, my response will come later on in the week.. once I have given it a bit more thought..
But for now, I want to comment on another article in this month’s issue titled, “Lebanese women not satisfied with second class,” by Rita Chemaly.
*I know this is nothing new to anyone, but I thought it was worth talking about again. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our lives that we forget those causes that really need our support!*
Anyway, the article discusses “Article 1 of the 1925 Nationality Law that states that Lebanese citizenship is granted only to those born of Lebanese fathers..which essentially means that a Lebanese woman married to a foreign man does not have the right to pass on her nationality to her husband or children, while a foreign woman marrying a Lebanese man is entitled to citizenship for herself and her children.”
I was aware of this law previously, but what I wasn’t aware of.. was that “because foreign husbands, and children from a marriage between a Lebanese woman and a non-Lebanese man are considered residents and NOT citizens, they must obtain residency and work permits and renew them each year.” maaaaaan! ARE YOU SERIOUS? …I’m shaking my head as I write this!…
According to Chemaly, “public figures who are opposed to amending the archaic law say that they are concerned about the implications to the balance of power in government, as the Lebanese political system is based on religious demographics.”
And all of this time, I thought legislators were give the power to make laws for the benefit OF THE PEOPLE and not for their own self-interest! It’s almost as if this law was put into place to punish Lebanese women for daring to marry a man who isn’t Lebanese.
I am disgusted, disappointed, FURIOUS. I’m not even Lebanese, and this saddens me so much.
What can I say other than I wholeheartedly support the associations, such as “Fathers and Sons for Citizenship,” the campaigns such as “My Citizenship is my Right and my Family’s Right,” and “My Nationality is the Right of my Children,” as well as all of the people who are lobbying for the amendment of Article 1 of the 1925 Nationality Law to include the following statement: “Any person born of a Lebanese father or mother shall be granted Lebanese citizenship.” That’ll be the day…won’t it.
If you know of any other ways that I can contribute please let me know.