• Home
  • About Us
  • Events
  • Blogging Renewal
  • In the Media
  • Tajaddod Press Room
  • The Library
  •  

    Why Mika Isn’t Really Lebanese

    Mika(photo)

    Those who thought the singer who entertained thousands last week in Martyrs Square was Lebanese are mistaken.

    Indeed, Mika was born in Beirut to an American father and a Lebanese mother: Lebanese law does not allow Lebanese women to pass down nationality to their children.

    So the brilliant artist who should be (and would like to be) representing our country abroad, cannot.

    Another more tragic consequence of our unfair nationality laws is this account (taken from l’Orient le Jour):

    La malédiction des sans nationalité.

    J’ai 31 ans, je suis né et je vis au Liban. Ma mère est libanaise et mon père, décédé, était un chrétien d’Iraq achouri, venu s’installer au Liban au milieu du siècle dernier ayant obtenu des autorités libanaises des papiers provisoires sous forme de laisser passer dont j’ai hérité. Je connais par cœur chaque recoin d’Achrafieh, Dekouané, Nabba, Sin el Fil, Dora, Hamra, Jounieh, Zahlé, Saida… J’ai trouvé plusieurs fois du travail mais dès le moment oú mes employeurs n’arrivaient pas à me procurer un permis de travail j’étais renvoyé. Depuis, ma mère a décidé d’emprunter de l’argent pour ouvrir une supérette oú je pourrais enfin assurer mes fins de mois. Je commence à me sentir adulte, indépendant, heureux. J’ai rencontré une jeune fille dont je suis tombé amoureux et nous avons décidé de nous marier. Tout allait bien jusqu’au jour oú ses frères réalisent qu’ayant un père avec une carte « taht qayd al dars » , nos enfants se retrouveraient sans nationalité, donc maudits dès leur naissance, car la femme libanaise ne peut pas donner sa nationalité à ses enfants, quelque soit le cas de figure. Ma fiancée décide donc de rompre son engagement au mariage. Je replonge vers mon sort de pestiféré. Ma vie est une chaine de malheurs. Certains me disent : « ton grand-père maternel aurait du t’adopter ». Merci, c’est trop tard, mon grand-père est mort et personne n’y avait pensé. J’ai essayé de quitter pour l’Europe oú vit une vieille tante, mais impossible d’obtenir un visa avec mes papiers provisoires. On m’a suggéré de me cacher dans la cale d’un navire et de me déclarer « réfugié » sur des terres plus clémentes. Je n’ai pas osé, j’ai eu peur que cet acte illégal ne me mène en prison pour Dieu sait combien de mois ou d’années. Ma mère s’en veut d’être impuissante. Elle a tapé récemment à toutes les portes, auprès de très hauts responsables, pour essayer de trouver une « wasta ». Elle est prête à faire tout ce qu’on lui demandera pour me procurer un passeport libanais. On lui répond souvent : cette loi a été appliquée pour empêcher les Palestiniens d’épouser des Libanaises et devenir d’office libanais, eux, ou leurs enfants nés de ce mariage mixte. Est-ce un argument convaincant? J’en doute. Sachant que lorsqu’une femme palestinienne épouse un Libanais, leurs enfants ont bien droit à la nationalité libanaise!
    Quelque soit la raison , on a ôté aux femmes leur droit du sang ! Libanaises, réveillez-vous, réclamez vos droits pour vous protéger et protéger vos enfants. Vous constituez 50% des voix du pays. Dans quelques mois vous vous dirigerez vers les urnes. Votez pour ceux qui promettront publiquement de défendre les droits de la femme .

    Youssef Taht-qayd-eldars

    Translation (mine):

    I am 31 years old, I was born and I live in Lebanon. My mother is Lebanese and my father who died, was an achouri Christian from Iraq, moved to Lebanon in the middle of the last century having obtained from the Lebanese authorities provisional papers in the form of a pass which I inherited. I know by heart every corner of Achrafieh, Dekouané, Nabba, Sin el Fil, Dora, Hamra, Jounieh, Zahle, Saida… I found work several times but as soon as my employers were unable to provide me a work permit, I was fired. Since then, my mother decided to borrow money to open a supermarket where I could finally make a living. I began to feel adult, independent, happy. I met a girl whom I fell in love and we decided to marry. Everything was going well until the day when her brothers realized that having a father with a card “taht qayd al dars”, our children may find themselves without a nationality, cursed by birth, because a Lebanese woman cannot give her nationality to her children, whatever the circumstances. My fiancee decided to break her commitment to marriage. I am back to my scourged fate. My life is a series of misfortunes. Some say, “your maternal grandfather should have adopted you.” Thank you, I would answer, it’s too late, my grandfather has died now and nobody had thought of this before. I tried to leave for Europe where an old aunt of mine lives, but it was impossible to obtain a visa with my provisional papers. I advised by some to hide in the hold of a ship and declare myself a “refugee” on a more lenient land. I did not dare, I was afraid that this illegal act would only lead me to jail for God knows how many months or years. My mother feels terrible to be powerless. She recently knocked on all doors, even very senior officials, to try to find a “wasta”. She is ready to do everything she is asked in order to obtain a Lebanese passport for me. She often gets the response: this law has been applied to prevent Palestinian men from marrying Lebanese women and becoming ex officio Lebanese themselves and their children born to this mixed marriage. Is this a convincing argument? I doubt it. Knowing that when a Palestinian woman marries a Lebanese man, their children have the right to Lebanese nationality!

    Whatever the reason, the Women’s blood right has been removed! Lebanese wake up, claim your rights to protect you and protect your children. You are 50% of votes in the country. In a few months you will head to the ballot box. Vote for those who publicly promise to defend women’s rights.

    Youssef Taht-qayd-Eldar

    The time for change is long overdue.

    7 responses to “Why Mika Isn’t Really Lebanese”

    1. […] article can also be found at the TY’s blog) Do you like this post? Would you like to be always updated with new posts on this website? If […]

    2. N A says:

      Brilliant article Nadim. Thank you for pointing out on this tragedy lived by tens of thousands of “non-lebanese”..
      The sad part is that this law wont be changed because “Halla2 tniyyeh” the sectarian balance might be shifted and because some of the Lebanese women are married to Palestinians…

    3. […] So the brilliant artist who should be (and would like to be) representing our country abroad, cannot. (Taken from the Tajaddod Youth Blog) […]

    4. Prepare4Change says:

      I wonder what Mika’s DNA has to say about that… :)

      Enjoy!

    5. 100%Lebnani says:

      i personally think this law is unfair, but if its preventing troubling people from holding a Lebanese citizenship, i am for it. it is unfair that women dont have the equal rights of men in passing on their citizenship to their children, however the Lebanese diaspora has contributed to this and influenced many women abroad to marry foriegners, which could be a good thing to Lebanon seeming as it will have a wider range of ethnicities, however, if a Lebanese woman marries an american and lives abroad, and doesnt visit Lebanon often and keeps them to the far end of the globe, theres no need in dragging the Lebanese in marrying non-Lebanese and making them forget their mother nation. i have considered mine and peoples opinions.. by the way, mika is still technically half Lebanese.

    6. Nadim K. says:

      @100%Lebnani

      “if its preventing troubling people from holding a Lebanese citizenship”, what do you mean by that? Who are these troubling people? And what makes them less worthy of citizenship than anyone else?

    7. N.A.H says:

      100%Lebnani,

      Dont you know thousands of Lebanese who hold the French/Candian/Australian/American/European passports and dont visit USA/France/Canda/Europe at all?

    Leave a Reply