Lebanon: Nationality Campaign
“It is not my right to get the Lebanese nationality; it is that of my mother who is a Lebanese citizen.” – Khaled. More than 130 women and men gathered at the Order of Engineers on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November 2009, to take part in the press conference called for by the Arab Women’s Right to Nationality Campaign.
The audience included women suffering from the discriminatory nationality law in Lebanon, in addition to a very high turnout of local and regional media including local and regional newspapers, international radio, and local and regional TV networks.
The Campaign called for the press conference in order to protest the appeal against judge John Azzi’s historical court order of 16 June 2009 granting a Lebanese woman, Samira Soueidan, married to an Egyptian man, the right to transmit her nationality to her children. The press conference also sought to share information and concern regarding the new ministerial statement which appears to be leaning towards dropping the issue of the reform of the nationality law from the final version of its text. Finally, the press conference was also a space to share and expose the difficulties faced by hundreds of families as a result of the current law.
Samira, Khaled, and a representative of the Palestinian Human Rights Association, Rassed, shared the podium with CRTD.A, each exposing a different angle of the campaign amidst an audience which shared interests, stories, and commitments to pursue the campaign for inclusive citizenship rights.
The press conference received wide media coverage including international radio (Swiss Radio), international media (BBC Arabic, Al Arabya, Orbit, MBC) and local TV stations and newspapers.
Beirut, 25 November 2009