As a child I used to ask my mother why we don’t have Qatari passport. And now, my children ask their mother the same question. I am afraid, my grandchildren would be doing the same.
Abdul Wahid, a stateless person who says he calls no country but Qatar his home.
The man, who has lived here since he was a child and has worked for state electronic media for more than 30 years, called into Qatar Radio yesterday to plead for the rights of long-term expat residents.
The Peninsula reports:
“I travel overseas using a document since I hold no passport,” he added. He told ‘Good Morning, My Beloved Country’ call-in programme early yesterday that Qatari people are surprised he is not a fellow citizen…
Abdul Wahid said he hoped his plea for Qatari citizenship would be considered favourably. “It’s ironic that in my own country I have to live under the sponsorship of someone else,” he said.
The citizenship of the children of Qatari mothers and expat fathers was also brought up on the show, the newspaper said.
Under Qatari law, only children whose fathers are nationals are entitled to citizenship and the various associated benefits, including free healthcare and higher education.
The call to change that law has grown louder in recent years, especially after the UAE’s president decreed last year that children with Emirati mothers and non-national fathers could apply for citizenship after they turned 18.
The question of citizenship is a sensitive one in Qatar, where nationals account for only 15 percent of the population, some 300,000 people in a population of 1.84 million.
What are your thoughts on how Qatar should tackle the rights of those without passports and the children of mixed marriages?
Credit: Photo courtesy of Wikipedia