BEIRUT: Two separate rallies took place in Downtown Beirut Tuesday, one demanding Lebanese women be granted the right to pass their nationality to their husbands and children, and the other calling for full-time contracts to be given to deserving Lebanese University professors.
A sit-in of about 80 people took place in Riad Solh Square to protest the current Lebanese nationality law.
The group, named Jinsiyyati (My Nationality), took aim at the committee assembled by Parliament to discuss amending the standing law.
The current committee has repeatedly stated that it is working toward promulgating a law that would allow Lebanese women to pass on their nationality to their children, so long as their husbands are not Palestinian.
The campaigners took issue with such a tack and called on the committee to reconsider the principles of the law, asking that Lebanese women be allowed to pass on their nationality not only to their children but to their husbands as well, with “no exceptions.”
Lama Naja, Jinsiyyati’s coordinator, told The Daily Star that if husbands of Lebanese women are not granted Lebanese nationality, some might be forced to abandon their children. With “no social security, no medical assistance and no insurance” in Lebanon, such men might well move elsewhere, she claimed.
Khaldoun Sharif, an adviser to Prime Minister Najib Mikati, said that the current situation is “unbelievable and unacceptable” but spoke of support for change among certain politicians, including the prime minister. “[Mikati] supports [the campaign] 100 percent. This campaign is right,” he insisted.
Another man in the crowd was Thomas Hornig, an American saxophonist who has lived in Lebanon since 1994.
“I fell in love with a Lebanese woman at university in Paris,” Hornig said. “After university she wanted to go back to her country.”
Hornig was hired as a musician at the National Conservatory and has since been a Professor of Saxophone in addition to performing with the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra.
“I work or play or teach almost 24 hours a day and I still can’t make ends meet. I’ve paid my own residency and insurance for 14 years,” he complained.
Hornig argued that he’s done his part for his newly adopted country and deserves citizenship. “When the Israelis left in 2000, I performed with Julia Boutros, and in 2006 I was in Kuwait with Charbel Rouhana at a benefit for victims of the war [with Israel].”
With so many people in the country unable to claim Lebanese nationality because they were born to Lebanese mothers and foreign fathers, Hornig feels Lebanon faces an increasing “brain drain.”
Also Tuesday, a small group of professors from the Lebanese University gathered in the same area to demand full-time contracts.
The group of around 50 professors congregated in Riad al-Solh Square to bemoan their ineligibility for benefits, including transportation allowance, health care and a pension plan.
“We have no benefits at all,” said Rania Majzoub Sabra, adding that every professor in attendance held a doctorate but was still being manipulated by the state institution.
Majzoub Sabra rued the fact that although part-time teachers have the same workload as their full-time counterparts and are members of the same committees at the university, they are still paid on an hourly basis because it’s cheaper for the university.
She added that the current problem stemmed from sectarian politics in Lebanon, saying that the hiring of full-time teachers was based on unofficial quotas for the representation of political parties among the teaching staff.
“We want academic standards,” Sabra said.
… واعتصام رمزي لـ”جنسيتي حق لي ولأسرتي”
نفذت حملة “جنسيتي حق لي ولاسرتي” اعتصاما رمزيا في ساحة رياض الصلح مقابل السرايا، وتلت لما نجا مذكرة توجهت فيها باسم الحملة الى مجلس الوزراء واللجنة الوزارية المؤلفة من نائب رئيس المجلس سمير مقبل، وزير الشؤون الاجتماعية وائل ابو فاعور، وزير الداخلية مروان شربل، وزير العدل شكيب قرطباوي، وطالبتهم بـ”الاسراع في العمل على صوغ القانون الجديد للجنسية وتوضيح الاسس المرجعية، والمبادىء التي ستستند اليها خلال عملها، وفصل موضوع اعطاء النساء اللبنانيات حقهن بمنح الجنسية لاسرهن عن اي قضية اخرى متعلقة بقانون الجنسية”. وتسلم المذكرة مستشار رئيس مجلس الوزراء نجيب ميقاتي، خلدون الشريف الذي قال: “ان قضية منح الام اللبنانية جنسيتها لاسرتها لها بعد وطني وانساني وشرعي وليست لغاية سياسية”. وقالت حياة ارسلان: “ان هذه القضية هي قضية مساواة والهدف ايصالها عبر الكلمة والحوار الى عقول المسؤولين بمستوى راق”، وطالبت “اللجنة التي تدرس قانون الجنسية بتحقيق الوعود”.
source: Annahar http://www.annahar.com/article.php?t=mahaly&p=14&d=24696