The "Arab Bidoon" In The Arab Gulf States:
By Ali Al-Hail
ccun.org, 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.
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).
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.
"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
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,
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
Can be contacted via:
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