Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sans papiers

"Hiam Abu Ragheb has big dreams for her 19-month-old triplets despite being a Bedouin without papers in Lebanon. Her sons will be doctors -- Bahaa a gynecologist and Saad a surgeon -- and her daughter Nazek will be a lawyer or journalist.

But little Bahaa, Saad and Nazek, namesakes of members of Lebanon's Hariri dynasty -- Saad Hariri is now prime minister -- might not even make it through school. They have no identity papers.

The Abu Raghebs belong to the Bedouin Huruq tribe and are among more than 100,000 Arab Bedouins who live in eastern Lebanon, many of whom have been fighting for years to be recognized by the state as citizens.

Once a migrant community that lived off herding and agriculture, Lebanon's Bedouins gave up their traditional nomadic lifestyle by the mid-20th century and settled in the country's east where they remain today, battling poverty, state neglect and discrimination."

No comments: