Saturday, March 14, 2009

One Consequence of a Discriminatory Law

Only male Jordanian citizens can transmit Jordanian nationality to their offspring. Female Jordanian citizens do not have that right.  Changing this law has been high on the agenda of politically active individuals and organizations for the past 10 years or more, and quite recently there have been numerous articles about it. The list is long of the injustices and frustrations suffered by the children and families of Jordanian mothers and foreign fathers. Enumerating some of them might make this posting more remarkable, but the situation that I relate is tragic enough.

I have known a seamstress for a number of years and only recently found out from her that she has a baby who was born with a hole in his heart. The little fellow is nine months old now, and although I don’t know the medical details in his case, I’m quite sure that he will not survive too many years without heart surgery. My seamstress is Jordanian, but because her husband is Egyptian the baby does not qualify for a national identity number. This means he cannot benefit from any charitable aid that might be available.  It would be impossible for the family to put together enough funds to pay for surgery on the baby.  Jordan has the medical facilities, the doctors, and the resources to treat him. His mother is a Jordanian citizen, and the child was born in Jordan. But because of this unconscionable law, the child is doomed to die.



Anonymous Qwaider قويدر said...

That was one of the polls we ran during Blog about Jordan day and 100% of the Jordanians participating voted for abolishing of this law.
We need idiotic laws like this to be thrown in the history books. It's no longer something that can be tolerated.

Sadly, many think there's a political side to this issue. In such cases, the fear is that a Jordanian would give a specific Arab nationality the citizenship. This "specific" nationality would tip the demographic scale to an unrecoverable point.

Nevertheless, and regardless of any political consequence. A Jordanian woman should be able to grant the citizenship to at least her sons and daughters.

Saturday, March 14, 2009  

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