There are many Saudis whose ancestors lived at the borders of Saudi Arabia and between the borders, coming and going freely without having to pass through checkpoints or needing passports. Obviously this still continues to the present day except now travelers must have papers proving their nationality. My understanding of this news article is that the Bedouins who have been determined not to be “originally” Saudi, will be stripped of their Saudi citizenship and rendered stateless (if they have no dual nationality that is). The highlighted part regarding Saudi mothers needs clarification, does this apply to Saudi mothers who are Bedouin and have had children by non-Saudis or to all Saudi mothers? Tara Umm Omar
Some Nomads Not Eligible For Saudi Citizenship
By Saudi Gazette | Riyadh
10 May 2011
Khaled Al-Fakhiri, an adviser to the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), has said that certain members of tribes whose affiliations transcend the nation’s borders “do not deserve Saudi citizenship because they are not originally Saudis”.
Al-Hayat Arabic daily reported Al-Fakhiri as saying that many “bidoun” – meaning “without” and denoting persons residing in the Kingdom without clear legal status or documents, leaving them effectively stateless – are “simply trying to get benefits from the government”.
His comments followed a meeting in Makkah Sunday with Hamdi Bukhari, acting regional representative for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and Muflih Al-Qahtani, chairman of the NSHR, and Al-Fakhiri said the NSHR has been following the issue of the “bidoun” and persons whose Saudi identification status had been retracted.
“The NSHR is coordinating with the relevant authorities in the Kingdom to determine the status of these people,” he said. “Some of the ‘bidoun’ do not deserve status as research revealed that they are not of Saudi origin. Others are from Saudi Arabia but have not obtained nationality because of the nature of the Arab tribes and the close connections between the Saudis and some neighboring countries.” Al-Fakhiri said some children born to Saudi mothers had citizenship applications rejected because they applied too late.
“The law states that applications should be made as soon as people reach the age of legal adulthood,” he said.
He also noted the special visa categories for people from conflict zones who have been granted asylum in Saudi Arabia, like Burmese Muslims and their children born in Saudi Arabia.
Photo Credit: Zimbio