Monday June 18, 2018

Lebanon Citizen Law: Marrying a foreigner strips the Woman of her Identity and property

There are about 450,000 Palestinian refugees registered in Lebanon and they cannot own properties and are even barred from working in 20 nominated professions, says an estimation done by UN.

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A bride blows a kiss while carrying an umbrella in a vehicle along a street in Beirut, Lebanon May 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi - RTSFBLO
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BEIRUT- Nadise Moussa could have been more proud as a mother when her teenage daughter was selected for a national Lebanese team for football. But, never had she thought that the celebrations will not last long and her daughter’s dreams will be shattered.

Women like Moussa, who are married to foreigners, cannot pass on their National identity to their husbands or children. Not just that. The children cannot even inherit or own their parent’s property.

Moussa said with a deep regret, “She was selected and then told she was not allowed on the team because she is not Lebanese.” The news left her daughter devastated and she stopped playing football after that as she felt excluded and rejected in her own country.

“I have always felt like a second-class citizen, being deprived of the right to give my nationality to my children and my family, said Moussa, a lawyer, long-time activist and Lebanon’s first female presidential candidate.

A Lebanese woman during the 2006 Lebanon war. Image source: Wikipedia
A Lebanese woman during the 2006 Lebanon war. Image source: Wikipedia

According to the law, if you are married to a foreigner, the children cannot access public health or education. Not just that. Even when they are old enough, they cannot work without a permit. Moussa’s two daughters are and will be going through the same state.

According to a 2009 study, Predicament of Lebanese Women Married to Non-Lebanese, the Labanon law has affected more than 77,000 people in a negative way.

Situations are even worse for Lebanese women who got married to Palestinian men, as Lebanon Law denies any right to own properties by Palestinians in Lebanon.

The campaign to reform the nationality laws across the Middle East can be dated back to more than 14 years. Since then, most of the Arab countries including Saudi Arabia have fully or partially reformed their nationality laws, said Lina Abou Habib, the executive director of the Collective for Research and Training on Development Action.

Law imposed on Palestine workers restricts them from 20 nominated jobs. Image source: theguardian.com
Law imposed on Palestine workers restricts them from 20 nominated jobs. Image source: theguardian.com

Male politicians in particular, justify the rule of inheritance as they feel “if you reform the law then all Palestinian men will marry Lebanese women and they will never return to Palestine, thereby taking away the right of Palestinian refugees to return home,” Abou Habib said.

There are about 450,000 Palestinian refugees registered in Lebanon, according to the estimation done by The United Nations. They enjoy only limited rights- cannot own properties and are even barred from working in 20 nominated professions.

While many people in the nation are dealing with identity crisis, opponents argue that Lebanon law is valid as it maintains a delicate religious balance between Christians, Sunnis, Shi’ite and Druze. Opponents feel that if the women gain nationality rights, it would mean Muslims might further outnumber Christians, which will threaten the existence of Christians in Lebanon.

With the crisis in Syria now entering its sixth year, Syrian refugees are making up one-quarter of Lebanon’s population. Few also argue if women have the right to nationality, Syrian men will marry Lebanese women and will never return to Syria.

Activists, including Abou Habib interviewed for this story and have rejected the arguments and termed them as racists. He feels that these people who support this kind of law are exploiting sectarian fears in order to deny women their rights.

“There is no link between women’s nationality and the issue of Palestine or the country’s religious make-up or the Syrian crisis. At the end of the day, what is true is that the state does not recognize women as citizens,” she added.

In 1925, under the French Mandate of Lebanon, the law was issued which states that a person will only be considered Lebanese if born to a Lebanese father.

The Foreign Minister of Lebanon, Gebran Bassil who leads Christian party- The Free Patriotic Movement, has voiced some of the loudest opposition to the reform of Lebanon’s nationality laws. He sponsored a bill in November 2015 that would grant citizenship to Lebanese expatriates but not to the spouses of Lebanese women. (Reuters)

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Experts Suggest Trending Footwear Fashion For Men and Women

Getting the perfect footwear which has both comfort and style is difficult, but important. Invest in loafers, colourful slip ons and pair them with the right attire, as suggested by experts. Bhavya Chawla, Chief Stylist at Voonik and Surabhi Agarwal, head of merchandising, Crocs India have listed few trending footwears

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Loafers are known to be the laid back version of a dress shoe and are best for a cocktail party for men. These shoes are versatile and comfortable.
Representational image. Pixabay

Getting the perfect footwear which has both comfort and style is difficult, but important. Invest in loafers, colourful slip ons and pair them with the right attire, as suggested by experts.

Bhavya Chawla, Chief Stylist at Voonik and Surabhi Agarwal, head of merchandising, Crocs India have listed few trending footwears:

* Flats are a must-have for casual wear. They are comfortable shoes and very versatile. They come in different colours and patterns and can be worn with jeans, capri pants, maxi dresses or any other wear.

To battle the extremely hot summer, slip-ons can be a saviour. Slippers, flip-flops, slides and open-toed pairs are in trend making the summer look not only chic and stylish but also perfect fit for the season. Speaking of prints and colours, keep it light and pick hues of purple, white, peach and mint.

As for men, a white pair of sneakers is an essential wardrobe item. It can be perfectly paired with most jeans.
Converse Sneakers. pixabay

As for men, a white pair of sneakers is an essential wardrobe item. It can be perfectly paired with most jeans. For a summer vibe, pair your casual shoes with light blue jeans. High top trainers/sneakers are also a huge trend this season. Suede or a coloured loafer will also go very well with your casual attire.

* Every woman should have absolutely drop-dead gorgeous evening shoes. Invest in a silver high-heel sandal, elegant black evening shoes or a multitude of other styles. Peeptoes, this heel should be preferably three to four inches.

This shoe is for dressing up either for going on a date, dinner, or even the company party. The open toe part of the shoe makes you look more stylish. You can pair these shoes with dresses of all kinds, skirts, and high waist trousers/pants.

Loafers are known to be the laid back version of a dress shoe and are best for a cocktail party for men. These shoes are versatile and comfortable. You can wear a loafer with a tuxedo if you choose, or with a pair of khaki pants and a t-shirt.

* The classic black pumps are apt for officewear. This can be worn to the office, work and to any other occasion, one can think of. The shoe should have a heel of two to three inches depending on preference.

This shoe is for dressing up either for going on a date, dinner, or even the company party.
Ladies heels. pixabay

Do not wear black with every colour. There is always a need for other neutral hues like brown, taupe, or beige. However, choose navy if you have clothing in those colour schemes. It can be a low heeled shoe that is also a closed toe. This shoes should be versatile enough to wear with trousers, slacks or even a dress.

If you are not a heel person, then bellies or ballerinas in solid colours are also a good option.

For men, Oxford shoes, brogues will make your outfit seem more formal. Combine a pair of slim navy jeans (cuffed at the bottom), with your favourite pair of dress shoes.

For a less formal tone, wear a pair of brown shoes. Black formal shoes will seem more formal and may appear strange when combined with jeans, match them up with trousers or chinos with a well-fitted shirt. Don’t forget to wear the appropriate pair of socks.

* When going on a beach choosing the right pair of footwear is the vital part. You want your feet to feel comfortable and cool and it should match with your summer dress, shorts or bikini as well.

Oxford shoes, brogues will make your outfit seem more formal. Combine a pair of slim navy jeans (cuffed at the bottom), with your favourite pair of dress shoes.
Brogues. Pixabay

Flip flops are one of the most appropriate choices but there are different styles which you can choose from. You can try out metallic flats as well.

Also Read: Trends That Will Rule Fashion in 2018

Dark florals are in fashion to beat the summer woes. Evening outfits will work best with dark floral slip-ons and slides. Just slip in and go for beach hopping, sunset strolls or pool parties.

For men, the easiest choice is flip flops. They are comfortable and easily available and very effective for their intended purpose. Pair them up with shorts, t-shirts or tanks. Throw on an unbuttoned short sleeve shirt over the top when you walk off the sand for a more stylish look. (IANS)