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The "Arab Bidoon" In The Arab Gulf States:

"Bidoon" What?

By Ali Al-Hail, February 12, 2009

   The Socio-historical-political terminology, of the "Arab Bidoon", is deeply, ingrained in the Arab Gulf states' cultural conditions. This terminology of "Arab Bidoon", has recently, made a major breakthrough in contemporary Sociology.  The vocabulary "bidoon", is not merely, a word but a word, with saddening and negative concepts, and somewhat, devastating.
   "Bidoon", means in English "without" i.e., stateless, which means that, without a nationality. Since, the expression of "bidoon", is uniquely, restricted to Arab Gulf states' societies, it refers to more or less, two million "Arab Bidoon" individuals (though, statistics seem to be skeptically, scarce in this regard), whose with varying degrees, grandfathers, fathers, and themselves, were actually, born in the Arab Gulf states of the GCC (Gulf Council Cooperation).
   Regional observations notify that, nearly, 50% of the "Arab Bidoon's" fathers were born in the countries of the GCC, and around 30% of their grandfathers, were born in the region, while themselves, all were born in this part of the World. Some other observations, go far beyond three generations to four or five generations, who were consecutively, born in the Arab Gulf states.
The GCC societies most notably, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain (to a lesser extent), are hosting for decades a huge numbers of Arab immigrants from a variety of Arab, and non-Arab (basically, from Asia). Arguably, their presence goes back to four –five generations that, have been statetessly, living in the Arab Gulf region. Additionally, there are nomadic or rural- deskbound Arabs, whose their socio-historical conditions, have over the centuries, made them homeless, and "Bidoon" i.e., stateless, within what they consider their only, home.
   The "Arab Bidoon" status, led to many endless problematic issues. It ranges from having no IDs, disable the "Arab Bidoon" to enroll their children at school,…to finding jobs, and they find themselves prisoners, in the place they are in, since without IDs they cannot travel abroad, etc.        
   Undoubtedly, from human rights' outlook, it's so degrading to a human being to be told "Bidoon" i..e., "without" a nationality. More importantly, it's absolutely, unislamic.
   Hence, one presumes, as do many that, this rather painful scar on the Arab Gulf's conscious, ought to (if not must) be dealt with collectively, on the level of the GCC states. By tackling the issue sooner than later, would hopefully, close the door before foreign interventions.
   The role of the NGOs and civil organizations, within the GCC is enormously, crucial. Once again, such a position would with a bit of luck, stop global human rights organizations from portraying the Arab Gulf region as apartheid, racist, or anti-humanity. 
Professor, Dr. Ali Al-Hail, Professor of Mass Communication, Twice Fulbright

Award Winner, Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Vice-President Of Qatar Fulbright Group, CSR Award Judge and Board Member of AUSACE, ASC, IABD, NEBAA, BEA, IMDA and EAJMC American Associations.
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