From discriminating against Bedoon to discriminating among Bedoon!

Stateless Arabs, locally known as bidoons, take part in a demonstration in demand of the Kuwaiti citizenship and basic rights, in Jahra, 50 kms (31 miles) northwest of Kuwait City, on October 2, 2013. Bidoons were born and raised in Kuwait and claim they have the right to Kuwaiti citizenship, but the government says only 34,000 of a total of over 106,000 qualify for consideration, while the rest hold other nationalities. AFP PHOTO/YASSER AL-ZAYYAT

The Central Agency for illegal residents (Bedoon) is carrying out a surprise after another in the past few days. After all the pressure made by protests, parliament members, international organizations, the US department, and foreign media, the Central Agency found itself forced to create laws that can make Kuwait look as ‘serious’ about solving the Bedoon issues. At first, Al-Fidhala, head of the Central Agency, said that the Bedoon will be getting ‘chipped IDs’ that will grant them mobility around the GCC countries. Then, Al-Anbaa newspaper stated today that those IDs will be made in 3 different colors: Red for those who do not ‘qualify’ for citizenship and have ‘security holds’, green for those who MIGHT get naturalized, and yellow for those who HAVE TO change their status by getting documents from another country and will thus be granted 5 renewable years of residency.

This plan sounds very dangerous and tells a lot about the Agency’s new policy towards the Bedoon issue. The community has been able, through one year of protesting, to capture the needed attention to their cause. The state is seeing this clearly and does not wish to see this activism grow bigger. The strategy now concentrates on categorizing Bedoon and weakening the movement by promising a group over another and creating this illusion of who deserves to be a citizen and who does not. In response, the Bedoon over twitter started a campaign to boycott those IDs. Bedoon Rights quickly made the above picture to emphasize the importance of this boycott.

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