Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Arabs Without Citizenship, Living in GCC States
ccun.org, February 13, 2009
By Hassan El-Najjar
One of the least researched topics is the tragedy of the Bidoons, who are Arabs living without citizenship in the Gulf Cooperation Council states, on the western coast of the Arabian Gulf. The word "Bidoon" means "without" implying "without citizenship."
These are hundreds of thousands who have lived there for generations but for a reason or another they have been denied citizenship in these states, which resulted in subjecting them to severe discrimination in all aspects of life.
Their tragedy is only matched by the tragedy of immigrants to the GCC states, who are never allowed to change their status from immigrants to permanent residents or to citizens.
The Bidoons and immigrants in the GCC states have been suffering from severe violations of their human rights, as well as their civil rights.
In this section of Al-Jazeerah, readers will find a forum, which aims at creating a center for resources and sources of information about the Bidoons and immigrants rights in the GCC states. The aim is to help these victims attain their civil and human rights, like other people around the world.
Readers, researchers, journalists, activists, as well as officials are encouraged to contribute information about this topic, to increase people's understanding of the plight of millions of people who are living in limbo in one of the wealthiest regions of the world.
I'm looking forward to receiving contacts from Bidoon and immigrant activists in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE, particularly links to their websites, articles, organizations, etc.
As a start, I refer readers to Chapter 3 of my book (The Gulf War: Overreaction & Excessiveness), which is about discrimination against the Bidoons and immigrants in Kuwait. Here's the link for that chapter:
Chapter 3: Discrimination Against Immigrants (English)
الفصل الثالث: التمييز ضد المهاجرين (Arabic)
Kuwaiti Bidoon activists in London have the following website:
The Arab Bidoon In The Arab Gulf States, Bidoon What By Ali Al-Hail
Kuwaiti Bidoons Community Association By Nasser Al-Anezy
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