I love Qatar

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I took my daughter to visit the country of her father and she didn’t want to leave. It was an amazing place, the people were nice, the country was very clean and I felt comfort there.

I did visit the family court in regards to my daughter getting nationality. It may be possible for her because her passport has her father’s name is on her passport. I was told to apply online for her nationality but I will wait until next year when she is 18 and can do it as an adult. I will be beside her and guide her but I don’t want it to look like I am the greedy mother going after it.

I didn’t visit the news agencies as I am still getting my options together and want to make sure I do the right thing before taking it to the press.

I can’t wait to go back to Qatar!

By helpgcckids

On my way to Qatar

It has been a long time since I have posted anything. There aren’t any changes, no updates. I’m hoping this will change soon as I will be visiting Qatar next week with my daughter Insh Allah. I hope it goes smoothly as it is her first visit, I will be checking out the court system and see what can be done, if anything.

Sometimes I worry if is a good idea to open this can of worms. It may expose a lot of things. I may encounter walls and disapproval but it’s time the children are represented. It’s funny how AL Jazeera news channel which is a Qatari owned agency did a feature on the Saudi children left behind but never mentioned it happening with Qatari students as well. The UAE has been open about finding the children of their citizens.

I know one trip will not be enough and it will take some time but I will represent those left behind. Wish me luck!

By helpgcckids

Saudi Arabia brings home their citizens

RIYADH: The Charitable Society for the Welfare of Saudi Families Abroad — Awasser — has been exerting great effort to bring back to the Kingdom Saudi nationals and families that resulted from marriages abroad contracted by means that run contrary to the Kingdom’s regulations.
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Awasser Chairman Tawfiq Abdul Aziz Al-Suwailem said during an interview with a local publication that his society “is trying to put a smile on the faces of many Saudi families abroad” by working to reunite them with their relatives in the Kingdom.

“Our work involves direct collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Saudi embassies, in addition to civil society organizations and charities,” said Al-Suwailem, while explaining the mechanism for reaching out to the families abroad.
He also said that 2,283 such families have been found so far in 31 countries around the world by the society and relevant official agencies. Together with their family members, this adds up to 8,012 individuals.
“Some of these families receive financial assistance, others administrative help. About 24 new families were added to the list (receiving assistance) during the last three months, while 47 families were removed from the list either because their situations got better or they have already returned to the Kingdom” said Al-Suwailem.
So far, 27 families — or 67 individuals — returned.
“The return procedure involves receiving the families at the airport, securing temporary residences for them, renting apartments and furnishing them, providing for their living expenses and giving them a national identity card, if they do not have them,” said Al-Suwailem, adding that Awasser constantly extends advice and counseling to the Saudi citizens traveling abroad, including warning them about being lured by marriage brokers and advising them to seek the help of the Saudi embassy officials before taking any step.
Al-Suwailem said there are immoral people who seek to take advantage of Saudis who travel abroad, receiving them at airports and convincing them to do things with, often with dire consequences, most often using young women to trap their victims.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Development grants annual support to Awasser to carry out its work, said the chairman. Private sector institutions also provide aid.
In the course of its operations, the society comes at times across unusual cases, said Al-Suwailem.
“We witnessed a humanitarian issue that greatly affected us while we visited two families in one of the countries. A young man and a young woman had the same father and shared the same family name; having different mothers,and they had never met.
“In another case, a young man came to the society with his mother to invite us to his wedding and said he never knew his father. There are also situations where the father died without telling his family about his second marriage. Lawsuits are filed by the sons of the foreign mother, who claim their inheritance rights.”
Awasser, the first and only Saudi charitable organization authorized for these services, also grants financial support, winter allowance and school assistance to children living abroad, and includes them in King Abdullah scholarship program.

==I’m assuming these are children from legitimate marriages not children that were not recognized by their fathers.

By helpgcckids

Alia’s story

a82e70a1c28639e3c7b94176f5f40629My mother had met my father when he came to the United States for college. The were together for about five years and his visa expired so he went back to Qatar. Before he left my mother had told him she was pregnant with me and he had made her every promise you could imagine to help and support me…well that didn’t happen. When I was about six months old he came back for a visit and once again the promises came. Then he was gone for good. Over the years we tried contacting him and he would just hang the phone up on me. When the gulf war started he sent a package with pictures of my sisters and and audio tape with more promises and how much he loves and thinks about me. I didn’t hear from him again. Growing up without a father was very difficult my mother struggled but did her best to give me a life and explain my dads absence. At sixteen my brother convinced me to put an ad on find someone page so I did. After two years I gave up and chose that I would never look for him again. Then a month after my 22nd birthday my life changed. I get a call from my brother who tells me to go to the website I posted on I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, A response from an aunt. I emailed her right away and immediately got a response. After a few emails my phone rings and it’s my father abdulrahman Ibrahim fakhroo himself. He sounded so happy he found me which caught me of guard because our phone and address had not changed in 20 years. As the years passed we got to know each other but I kept my guard up. I slowly started to let it down as he was helping me and keeping to his word. This first time we met didn’t go as well as I thought. I wanted answers to my questions and he didn’t want to answer them. But we made up by the time he left. We continue a relationship and then I was diagnosed with severe spinal stenosis, scoliosis, and chronic degenerative disc disease and had emergency surgery to avoid my spinal cord being severed. In total over last few years I have had three spinal surgeries and my doctors say I will need more. My dad financially help with bills during those periods which was a huge help. I have had contact with one sister but have never been to visit Doha because of my health issues. And unlike other stories I hear my dad is on my birth certificate and I carry the family name. Unfortunately my story doesn’t end so good. And a leopard doesn’t change is spots because my dad has had no contact with me and has blocked his phone numbers. I have spoke with my sister and I keep getting every excuse in the book. The last message I got from him said f*** off and stop bothering my sister. I guess he thinks being a dad for ten years was enough. I’m sad but not surprised. I think I’m more angry at myself for even trusting him. I’m 33 years old now and wise enough to know its time to move on and close this chapter. I can walk away from this with my conscious clean it wasn’t my fault and I did nothing wrong. And I hope my story can maybe help someone else who’s dad popped in and out of their life. I never asked for any of this and my world got turned upside because of selfishness. Alia Alexis Abdulrahman Fakhroo learned a valuable lesson and will become a better stronger person because of it. And I will do it without my father.

By helpgcckids

Kuwait recognizes our struggle

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—–FINALLY!!!!! We are getting recognition in the GCC! Now if Qatar would publish this subject!!!!

KUWAIT: In view of the growing number of single mothers in the US, a number of American women with children recently decided to sue Arab students who they claim are the real fathers of their kids and the result of extramarital relationships.

The women seized the opportunity of the creation of a new website named ‘Children Left Behind’ to upload dozens of stories about American single mothers reporting that their kids were the result of affairs with Saudi, Kuwaiti, Qatari and Emirati students, saying that the fathers abandoned them and disappeared. Creators of the website, which has English and Arabic interfaces, stressed that it mainly aims at highlighting those mothers’ ordeals and help them reunite with their kids’ legitimate fathers.

One of the website’s administrators said that the number of American single mothers contacting the website to share their experiences was steadily growing. The website, which has so far been visited by over 1.5 million people, said that the phenomena started back in the 1980s, dropped a little in the 1990s, then gradually increased later on after so many GCC university students abandoned their companions. — Al-Rai

By helpgcckids

Dear Ali…..

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Dear Ali,

I think about you often, remembering the things we did, the nick name you once called me and the way you made me laugh. I’m not ashamed to say I still think about you, see you in my dreams and often wonder what you look like. It’s been 14 years since I’ve seen you and 8 years since I heard your voice, you were yelling at me because I was in Qatar and had just notified your mother and father about their grandchild, so typical of you.

Do you ever think of me? Do you ever wonder what your daughter looks like now? She has the same long beautiful eyelashes that cover your eyes, the same eyes that used to look at me with love. Her hair is wavy and thick just like yours, remember when your hair was so long and your father made you cut it off. Do you remember when you bought your prized Supra and pulled up to my place to surprise me? I remember the races on the highway and the cruising in Los Angeles, trips to San Diego and of course that awfully unplanned trip to Vegas on Memorial Day weekend.

How I long to sit beside you to eat the dinner you cooked, those little cornish hens with rice and all the extras, you would always help me with the meat because it was so hot, eating with our hands and making a mess. I remember I used to watch you sleep and miss you at the same time, I would always end up waking you just to have your attention.

Our first meeting on AOL, Arab chat…..your nick was XxNOSxX…after the Nitrous Oxide Systems you so loved. Our first meeting we drove to LA to Byblos restaurant with Khalid Al Taan in his bright red Acura, how he loved that car. After that day you left back to Qatar for the holiday vacation. When you returned you brought me perfume, I was so happy you thought about me while so far away. From that day on we were always together, you told me your dreams, your stories and I told you mine.

We practically lived in Irvine Spectrum taking silly pictures together and watching movies. We were always having fun with the group. Nasser AlMutawa who married Laila the Moroccan girl which was surprising as she had a reputation and wore bikinis, I was the good girl yet you wouldn’t become my husband. Mohamed the Emirati guy with the bad ass mustang and Abdullah, Khalid’s little brother and of course the Qatari Mohamed who was the groups nerd. Those times were so crazy, we were all young and care free enjoying the time of our lives.

I can still picture the Arab restaurant Kebobit and the times we spent there eating, smoking shesha and watching the occasional belly dancer. I wonder where everyone from the group is, are they married? Do they ever think about the days they lived in California?

I remember the last day, you came by to visit with your daughter for a little while all the while telling me you would come back for us. I can picture you walking to that crappy Corolla Mohamed owned, the one with missing hub caps and reversing. As I stood holding our daughter I never imagined that would be the last day I saw you, how I wish I would have spent more time holding you even if was only five more minutes. The nest day you called me at work while on your way to the airport reassuring me you would come back.

For a few months we messaged each other, sometimes talking, I would have to go to the store and get calling cards to keep in touch as I missed you so much. I spoke to your mother once and even your brother which made me believe you would return to me. I got the passport, you got my visa but the trip never happened. I begged the college to give you another student visa, spending from my own money to send it to you but you never came. Days turned into weeks, weeks to months and months to years. After two years of waiting for you I finally had to move on, I’m sure you didn’t keep yourself for me.

I kept in touch with your brother over the years, he told me you were studying in Lebanon and once you returned to Qatar all communication stopped. Everyone changed their phone numbers trying to run away from the past. I did meet your brother, he looked just like he did in the pictures you showed me, he was nervous as I showed him the pictures of you and your daughter. I gave him the pictures in hopes he would show your mother but I doubt that happened.

My book is not finished, God willing I will be visiting your country soon, I’m not weak like before. I believe I will see you again and I know it may not go as I imagine but if closure is the only thing my heart gets then I will endure the pain that awaits. Although my mind has forgotten most of our time together my heart will not let me forget you completely, I will always love you.

By helpgcckids

Another successful story

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It makes me very happy when I am requested to remove stories from people who have since made contact with their fathers since the originally story was posted.

The story from Scotland has now been deleted as per the request of the writer. He has since been contacted by the wife of his father and will be involved in going to Qatar to obtain his rights as a Qatari God willing.

I wish him the best and I hope there are more happy outcomes, including mine.

Good luck to those who have found peace with their situations.

By helpgcckids

There is a happily ever after

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One of the stories was about Sarah who’s Qatari father had left her behind. She has had sporadic communication but her brothers and sister didn’t know about it. She had surprisingly met her sister-in-law on Instagram when she asked if there was a lawyer who could help her with her case. She found out the lawyer who offered help was her brother’s wife. Little by little she contact her brother and established a relationship although her father didn’t know she was communicating to her siblings. Today she sent me a picture of her brother, he was in Kuwait for his job and met with her and her family. He also told her that his mother has known about her for a long time. I am so happy for her and her family. The next step is for her brother to let their father know they have met.

She plans on meeting the rest of her siblings soon and I hope that my daughter might one day have the same happy ending. If it is meant to be then it will happy, don’t ever give up!

By helpgcckids

Update on one of the stories

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A while ago I wrote about a female whose father was Qatari and mother British, father left and returned to Qatar. She asked me to delete her story because she has had some luck with her father. She accidently met her sister-in-law on Instagram while looking for a lawyer to help her with her case. The Qatari female offered her legal advice and after some communication found she was her sister-in-law and has since connected with her brother although her father doesn’t know they have spoken. She found out her father is married to a psycho lady and still carries a torch for her mom. She has yet to meet her family and the other siblings don’t know. She lives in Kuwait and is now my good friend so there are some positive stories. She will however never be recognized and won’t get any inheritance from her father.

By helpgcckids

This is how UAE deals with their lost children

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‘Illegitimate’ kids need support, not stigmatization’

The case of Mylene Rapada, the daughter of a Filipina mother who is searching for her Emirati father, brings attention to a stigmatised segment of society: illegitimate children. Those children are often looked down upon and treated as if guilty of some crime.

Emirati society often focuses on the parents’ sin and neglects the rights of these children, who are generally viewed in a negative way.

They are commonly perceived as uncultured, amoral and undeserving of the respect and kindness normally offered to other children. In many cases, they’re discriminated against and dealt with in a dehumanising way.

Mylene, now aged 22, claims that her mother Nora had been working as a maid for the family of her father in Madinat Zayed in the Western Region for less than a year when she became pregnant with his child.

She was told that her father wanted to marry her mother at that time but the employment agency involved advised her to leave the country, and even when he tried to find his baby daughter, he failed in his pursuit.

There are many cases of foreigners who are looking for their Emirati parents, according to legal experts. This is a reality for many children around the world who are in search for one or both of their parents in foreign countries.

Having children out of wedlock is against Muslim culture. Yet, there is no reason to believe that we can prevent such cases from happening. So the question is: how can we protect innocent children from suffering the consequences?

In Islam, children born outside of wedlock are considered to be “illegitimate” and, according to popular religious opinion, should be named after their mothers rather than their fathers.

The issue of nationality wasn’t discussed at the time of the Prophet and so it is understood today that it is up to the state to decide on this matter.

However, the Quran says that “no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another” [39:07]. In another verse, it is mentioned: “So he who has done an atom’s weight of good shall see it. And he who has done an atom’s weight of evil shall see it” [99:07-8].

These two verses emphasise a significant Islamic concept that all people are judged by their own actions rather than the actions committed by their fathers, mothers, ancestors, or nations.

Thus, it would be both unfair and unethical to mistreat them or form an opinion of them by something they have not committed.

In addition, their social and legal rights must be protected.

At the moment, there is no official law recognising as citizens those born outside of wedlock.

And yet, following the Qurannic principle above, there is at least a case to be made that, in some circumstances, citizenship could be granted. After all, why should an innocent child be punished for the sins of the parents?

In 2009, as The National reported, the government created an ad hoc committee to conduct a global search to identify children born overseas to Emirati fathers, bring them back home if they wished and ensure their welfare.

The situation for children born of wedlock is different, of course, but there is an important principle at stake: as a small society, Emiratis look after their own.

Many mothers decide to go back to their home countries and take the full responsibility of the child, as Mylene’s mother Nora has done.

More social stigma and blame are placed on mothers, while fathers easily get away with what they have done because they don’t have to deal with pregnancy as is the case for women.

Some mothers are even forced to make the hard decision of abandoning their newborns to avoid legal consequences of having a children outside wedlock, a major sin in sharia law but one that is much harder to prove against a man than a woman.

Many of these children could grow up questioning their identity and existence if they ever got to know the full story.

Those born to poor mothers face an even harsher reality without the presence of their fathers. This is why these children need emotional support from the community to move on with their already difficult lives.

More has to be done to help these children integrate into Emirati society if they come forward and present their cases to authorities. Perhaps a permanent system could be in place to look into cases, with strict confidentiality, to determine their validity by conducting the necessary medical tests and other investigations, and, if certain circumstances are met, determine and provide them what they are due.

Regardless of the religious and legal complexities of the issue, we need to look at the situation of these children with compassion and care and view them as equal human beings who deserve dignity, respect, equal opportunities and decent lives.

aalmazrouei@thenational.ae

On Twitter: @AyeshaAlmazroui

By helpgcckids