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Saturday , November 26 2022

‘Crying’ to get nationality

This post has been read 15604 times!

THE subject of so much ado, discord, conflict, tears and even blood has not been raised, except for disappointment, hope, cheating, forgery, perjury and lying, like the issue of Kuwaiti nationality.

All of this happened, not out of love for the homeland, but mostly out of greed for the benefits it gives its holder, and other than that, its status or desire to obtain it.

Moreover, the majority of those who demand it now or wish to obtain it will abandon their demands when the privileges are canceled, and obligations and taxes are imposed in their place, and all of these things will inevitably happen sooner than later.

The Nationality Law was issued in December 1959, with the completion of the general census in 1957, and the details of the delegates’ visits to homes are still stuck in my memory, and I saw how some families were afraid to meet these people for fear of their intentions.

The Nationality Law came in response to the necessary requirements for the state’s transition to civility and modernity, and a desire to define an identity for the citizen that distinguishes him from others, with plans for his participation in the new wealth that came with the export of oil, and the start of distributing its revenues to everyone in the form of services, grants and gifts.

For this purpose, it was decided to form four committees working under the supervision of a higher committee headed by Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salem, with the membership of Nisf Yousef Al-Nisf, Yousef Al-Falih, Abdul Hamid Al-Sanea, Hamad Al-Mashari, Mohammad Yousef Al-Nisf, and Hamad Saleh Al-Humaidhi.

The Nationality Law included 21 articles, and some of the most important articles were changed and amended in the following years, immediately after liberation.

The majority of the population, in the late fifties of the last century, lived a simple life, and sometimes precariously, especially in the desert, traveling and maritime trade, and residing abroad, so some of them failed to meet the four citizenship committees on time, until late.

With the end of the committees’ work in December 1961, elections for the Constituent Assembly concerned with drafting the country’s constitution were called. Perhaps the voter lists for the Constituent Assembly are the official document that bears the names of all original Kuwaitis, and which every eligible Kuwaiti citizen can invoke today, positively or negatively, taking into account the laws issued after the liberation, which resulted in significant increases in the number of original nationality holders, and after nearly 34 years of closing the door to granting it to citizens who were in Kuwait before 1920, and they maintained their normal residence there until the day the Nationality Law was published, but this is another story and it is grieved.

The four citizenship committees were appointed according to Law No. 15/1959, and their members and areas of jurisdiction were selected. The first was formed by Hammoud Al-Nisf, as chairman, and the membership of Haji Makki Al-Juma, Ahmed Yaqoub Al-Mahmeed, Mohammad Jassim Al-Mudhaf, and Jassim Ibrahim Al-Mudhaf.

As for the second, Abdulaziz Abdullah Al-Humaidhi was appointed as chairman, with members Ibrahim Al-Adsani, Nasser Al-Issa Al-Saad, Suleiman Abdullatif Al-Othman, and Youssef Al-Nafisi.

The third was formed by Saud Abdulaziz Al-Abdul-Razzaq, as president, and the membership of Hassan Al-Jarallah, Ali Saleh Al-Fadhalah, Khaled Al-Raqam, and Abdulaziz Al-Qutaini.

The last was formed by Suleiman Ibrahim Al-Muslim, as chairman, and the members Ahmed Al-Bishr, Ali Al-Tuwairish, Abdul-Razzaq Al-Basir, and Abdul-Samad Marafie.

The four committees followed specific requirements in granting citizenship, including owning a house, land, a passport, or any other documents, with witnesses being available.

At that time, the government gave some Bedouin personalities stamps with which to stamp the papers of the residents of the Kuwaiti desert before they came to meet the concerned citizenship committees, as proof of their affiliation to Kuwait.

There was confusion about the behavior of a few of these people, and how they did not make good use of those stamps, as the Directorate of Police and Public Security called on members of the Kuwaiti people residing in the city, in villages and all external areas, and settlers in Kuwait before 1920 and after it until 1954, and they maintained their normal residence throughout this period to review the Nationality Investigation Office in “Al-Qibla”, and as for the Bedouin members, in the Nationality Investigation Office in “Al-Shamiya” with the supporting documents.

The granting of citizenship was also done with the approval of two of its members, but at the suggestion of “Saud Al-Abdul-Razzaq”, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem agreed to grant the member “Ali Saleh Al-Fadala” the right to individually agree to any request, due to his specialization in knowing the genealogy of the people of Kuwait.

From the above, we find that the categories from which the citizenship committees were formed closely represented the population of Kuwait at the time, and after 60 years they became a minority!

e-mail: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf

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