The children of Qatari women married to non-Qatari men cannot obtain Qatari citizenship, but the call to change this is growing louder, says the Peninsula.
The problem, according to the often-criticised citizenship laws of the GCC states, is that while men have the right to claim nationality for their foreign wives and their children, the women are denied that privilege even if they marry with official approval.
Qatar is no exception to the rule, with the end—and tragic—result that the children of Qatari women married to men who are from other nationalities—even if from a GCC state—are not granted citizenship rights.
These children are treated as foreigners, and much like an expatriate worker, have to renew their residency permits periodically after paying a high fee despite their mothers being Qatari citizens.
Exact estimates of the number of suffering families are difficult to have but community sources insist the magnitude of what essentially is a socio-political problem cannot be ignored….
While Qatari citizens enjoy privileges like free electricity and water, highly subsidised foodstuff, free education from school to university, easy access to residential plots and housing loans, as also to cushy government jobs that promise post-retirement benefits, the children of Qatari mothers and non-Qatari fathers have no such state largesse to look up to.
And tell us what you think! Shouldn’t Qatar think of the children?
Image courtesy of the Peninsula.