13 May 2007

Is Kuwait dumping its problem on us?

The latest rumor nowdays in Bahrain is that our government and the Kuwaiti government have agreed that Bahrain will "receive" a few thousands of "bedoons" from Kuwait [bedoon = without citizenship]. As people in the Gulf would know, the bedoon is an issue that Kuwait has been struggling with for a while, and now Bahrain is to the rescue??

I'm not exactly sure how creadible this rumor is. In a place where the government's "information" ministry is run by a stooge and the "central informatics" machinary is run by a corrupt conspirator, rumors & conspiracy theories are all we have. People have been noticing more-than-frequent visits of high Bahraini officials to Kuwait and vice-versa, and I guess we are just worried that yet another wave of "new" Bahrainis is on the way.

I'll leave you with this Article from Al Rai Al Aam Kuwaiti newspaper. Again, I am not certain about its creadibility but it raises big concerns. There is a Kuwaiti parliament member who even "welcomed" Bahrain's initiative! The thing is, it's a long shot to expect other governments or even parliaments to act morally towards our country, when our own government isn't. But for decades Kuwait has been Bahrain's best friend and really built for us more than our own government was willing to (health centers, schools, mosques... even machboos recipes!). I guess as Bahrainis we just hope that Kuwait doesn't agree to this potential conspiracy or listen to our government's self-destructive ideas [and let's not fool ourselves. we know whose idea this is!].


H. said...

Awww.. Aren't we the lead ad campaign!!

"Bahrain, a home for those without a home."

How noble!!

moodz said...

I believe what caused the stir on this issue in Kuwait is a royal decree recently issued by King Abdulla of Saudi Arabia accepting the "bedouns" as Saudi Citizens as long as they get "accepted" by the Sheikhs of the Tribes in Saudi.

The point you raised still stands valid though, according to the article the Bahraini Government and that of the United Arab Emirates had previously offered it's citizenship to the Kuwaiti Bedouns.

"حتى تحقق البحرين التوازن المطلوب لا بد من أن تضع في الاعتبار أن تجنيس 10 ألف سنياً في العام لن يؤثر إطلاقاً في المعادلة السائدة حالياً (انظر الرسم البياني). إذا رفعت العدد تدريجيا إلى 20 ألف سنوياً فقد تنجح في تعديل التركيبة بعد نهاية العام 2016. إذا رفعت العدد تدريجياً إلى 50 ألف سنوياً فإن قدرتها على تغيير التركيبة تدريجياً قد تتحقق بعد العام 2010. و في تقديرنا هذا هو الخيار الإستراتيجي الأوحد".

وجاءت التوصيات للتركيز "على 3 مصادر رئيسية لدفع عملية التجنيس: سُنة العراق والآسيويين بالتركيز على البلوش والبنغال واليمنيين.غالبية هذه الجنسيات يحلمون بظروف اقتصادية أفضل في البحرين". وأيضا "التركيز على الذين ولدوا في الكويت والسعودية (فئة البدون) لسهولة اندماجهم في البحرين واكتسابهم للعادات الخليجية بسهولة".

Quoted from the ever famous AlBander Report.

can we talk said...

sh** more?
is any pie gonna be left by the time our kids are adults? heck, any crust even?

error said...

hehehe.. I doubt it!!

Rough figures estimate the population of the bedoon to be around ninety thousand, however many of them actually have their own nationalities, mostly Syrians, Iraqis, Ahwazis and a minority of nomadic tribal ethnicities. For many of them, a Kuwaiti citizen ship means a lot; given the benefits associated with it, free housing, good governmental salaries and what not, where those benefits may not be present in ba7rain frankly speaking.

So no, even our bedoons wont like it in ba7rain!!

costa-guy said...

The Iraqis rumor was denied so bad. Personaly, i've seen some Iraqis who are Bahraini citizens for a long time now having issues getting out a Bahraini passport for his kids.

Why the delay & the issues with the citizenship? Did they deserve it? (they were living in Bahrain for a long time and got married to Bahrainis!)

I didn't even bother asking they were shi'ites or sunnis but from what I understood that getting a citizenship became harder these days because of the new restrictions, media, parliament and the public opinion!

As long everyone is concerned about the issue, (expecially after "za report"), the government is governed by the people themselves and it shows with statistics. 2000-2003 = 50,000 citizenships, 2004-2006 = government says less than 10,000.

2007, (rumors say less than hundreds so far) but regardless whether the numbers were accurate or not, the public awareness of the problem created a general new level of awarness in the government itself.

It realized that economic stability is the key for political stability. So now giving citizenships to anyone is creating more problems for the government than benefits if we could say so.

If we just keep shedding the light on such issues using the media and general lectures plus the fact that our parliament issues a new citizenship law (Wefaq's proposal law was reasonable and v. good), we would be able to stop this problem from affecting the future inshalla.

P.S: on another issue, look at the King and the Kuwaiti Amir, they both have access cards to the Formula-1 track as if no one knows who they are. The King has his photo on the card saying Hamad Bin Khalifa (And I was thinking about sneaking back with no access card this year).

costa-guy said...

Oops.. I meant our King's name is Hamad bin Isa :P

I was this close to write Hamad bin Salman as a correction.

Talk about deserving citizenship :P

Anonymous said...

من صجي الحكومة لازم تجوف لها صرفة ما يصير جذي .... ادري ان الكلام اللي باقوله ما راح يعجب البعض بس لازم نسوي مثل الكويت شهادة جنسية تثبت كيفية حصولنا على الجنسية البحرينية سواء بالتأسيس او بالتجنيس علشان نقدر نعطي ولد الديرة الاولوية في كل شي .... و لازم النواب يعدلون قانون الجنسية بسرعة مو بس يقعدون ينابحون على معاشاتهم التقاعدية و الجوازات الخاصة و السيارات و يحطون بعض القيود في توفير الخدمات للمتجنسين بحيث انهم ما يقدرون يستفيدون من بعض الخدمات اللي تقدمها الدولة لهم مثل الاسكان او التعليم او الوظيفة الا بعد مرور فترة معينة من تجنسيهم .... و المفروض بعد ان المتجنس ما يجوز له الترشح لعضوية المجلس النيابي الا بعد مرور فترة معينة من تجنيسه مثل 15 او حتى 20 سنة .... ادري اللي اقوله ما راح يصير بس مثل ما يقولون فشة خلق :)

LuLu said...

I do also wonder how come our parliament just keeps quiet as #$%@ unfolds as if they are just not concerned...

I also think we have a big issue with Islamists such as Al Menbar and Asala leading a big section of the Sunni population.. it seems they are quite content with naturalization for sectarian purposes.

Error, attitude aside, my only comment is that one of the reasons (old) citizens are upset is that (new) citizens automatically get government housing + high paying security forces jobs, plus the additional standard benefits.

iDip said...

I think it's far-fetched. There are at least 3 Kuwaiti MPs partially devoted to the issue of "bedoon". They come from tribes that include citizens & bedoon, so this issue -to them- is of great social & political importance.

and honestly, I really don't wish that we "export" our problems* to Bahrain (Bandergate is more than enough) or any other country.

* if this is not a rumour.

Anonymous said...

I am new to M.E. so I don't fully understand the problem the "Bedoons" in Kuwait. Can anyone tell me why Kuwait doesn't give the "Bedoons" citizenship? Aren't they indiginous to the region?

I understand the motives behind why Bahrain would be willing to accept them. Saudi & UAE are also willing (not sure of their motives) so why wouldn't Kuwait want them as citizens?

LuLu said...

iDip I hope you're right! Great blog btw

anonymous-- here is my take:
I think to understand the Middle East, it is useful to understand that although to the outisde world we all seem the "same", individual national identities in the region play a strong role. In the Gulf in particualr, although the states themselves are new, there has been a historical process of strong national identity construction that emphasized the uniqueness of each population's experience and political development. A part of the reason Kuwait and other states resist naturalization is to "preserve" the constructed identity and culture of the state against "elements" that have not been part of the initial emergence of the state. "New" comers are seen are often viewed suspiciously as those who have not "sacrificed" or participated in building the country but are now coming to share the benefits. You can see it also in Bahrain.

Of course there are also the practical factors: Kuwaiti or Emirati citizenship for example comes with many benefits (free education, healthcare, housing, marriage allowance, etc), which of course puts a huge burden on the state if it is to sustain it in th long run.. etc