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People 'without'
Kuwait's 'Bidoon' have been stripped of rights and treated as second-class citizens.
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2013 11:43
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Gregory Constantine/

Three men from the Bidoon community sit at a dewaniya, or gathering that is an indispensable feature of a Kuwaiti man's social life.



Gregory Constantine/Al Jazeera

Some 40,000 Bidoon - which means "without" - live in the slum of Taimaa, which is located 40 minutes outside of Kuwait City. 



Gregory Constantine/Al Jazeera

After working as a police officer for 18 years, this 60-year-old man was fired from his job in 1991. Prior to 1985, the Bidoon enjoyed many of the same rights as other Kuwaitis, including working for the government. 



Gregory Constantine/Al Jazeera

Bidoon gather for a demonstration in the Taimaa area, 45 minutes outside of Kuwait City to demonstrate for their right to equality and citizenship.



Gregory Constantine/Al Jazeera

Bidoon demonstrations over the past two years have been met with violent crackdowns by Kuwaiti authorities. 



Gregory Constantine/Al Jazeera

Kuwaiti security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to stop the protesters. About 30 people were arrested. Several were injured and hospitalised.



Gregory Constantine/Al Jazeera

A Bidoon man sells vegetables out of his truck in the al-Jahra area of Kuwait. Unable to obtain a license, his business is illegal and subject to confiscation and fines.



Gregory Constantine/Al Jazeera

This 54-year-old man was highly decorated in the Kuwait Air Force but was fired in 1991. Since then he has not been able to hold regular employment. 



Gregory Constantine/Al Jazeera

A 30-year-old Bidoon man earns a living by driving his truck around as an illegal taxi. 



Gregory Constantine/Al Jazeera

Bidoon women sell clothing at a market outside of Kuwait City, but cannot obtain business licenses.



Gregory Constantine/Al Jazeera

As the older generation passes away, Bidoon homes are often destroyed to make way for other developments.



Gregory Constantine/Al Jazeera

Graffiti adorns a wall in the Taimaa area  where a large population of Bidoon lives. It reads: "Til when are we Bidoon [without]?", and "I will break your heart".



Taimaa, Kuwait - After Kuwait's independence in 1961, one-third of its population was granted Kuwaiti nationality, another third was naturalised as citizens, and the rest found themselves without nationality and considered "bidoon jinsiya". 

Since then, generations of Bidoon, as they are now called, have been stateless in their own country. Translated from Arabic, "Bidoon" means "without". It is estimated that some 100,000 people from the Bidoon community in Kuwait are without the right to citizenship.

Up until the 1980s the Bidoon worked in government jobs: in the military, in the police, and as workers for the Kuwait Oil Company. Since the mid-1980s - and especially after Kuwait's liberation from Iraq after the first Gulf War in 1991 - the Kuwaiti government has adopted policies that have taken away or denied the Bidoon a number of rights.

Though they have lived in Kuwait for generations and have played a vital role in its development, they are considered foreigners by the government. 

While international human rights organisations such as Refugees International and Human Rights Watch have criticised the Kuwaiti government for policies that have marginalised the Bidoon community for decades, it continues to stand by its right to determine who is a citizen and who is not. 

"There are conditions to take up Kuwait nationality. Some of these conditions are not met by the people in this community," says Saleh al-Saeed from the government agency that handles all issues related to the Bidoon.

"The main condition, not the only condition," al-Saeedi told Al Jazeera in a phone interview, " is that you had to be registered with the Kuwait government in 1965. The majority of the people from this communtiy were not registered then."

As the Arab Spring swept across the region two years ago, the Bidoon became more vocal in demanding equal rights and citizenship. Even though their demonstrations in 2011 and 2012 were met with violent crackdowns by the authorities, the Bidoon community is still determined to be recognised as citizens in the country they call home.


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images:
/mritems/images/2013/6/4/201364132613892689_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/4/20136413261448807_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/4/201364132614189773_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/4/201364132614330650_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/4/201364132614502484_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/4/201364132614689720_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/4/201364132614877860_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/4/20136413261564265_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/14/2013614164050470659_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/4/201364132615252482_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/4/201364132615580931_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/4/201364132615798589_8.jpg
captions:

Three men from the Bidoon community sit at a dewaniya, or gathering that is an indispensable feature of a Kuwaiti man(***)s social life.

;*;

Some 40,000 Bidoon - which means "without" - live in the slum of Taimaa, which is located 40 minutes outside of Kuwait City. 

;*;

After working as a police officer for 18 years, this 60-year-old man was fired from his job in 1991. Prior to 1985, the Bidoon enjoyed many of the same rights as other Kuwaitis, including working for the government. 

;*;

Bidoon gather for a demonstration in the Taimaa area, 45 minutes outside of Kuwait City to demonstrate for their right to equality and citizenship.

;*;

Bidoon demonstrations over the past two years have been met with violent crackdowns by Kuwaiti authorities. 

;*;

Kuwaiti security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to stop the protesters. About 30 people were arrested. Several were injured and hospitalised.

;*;

A Bidoon man sells vegetables out of his truck in the al-Jahra area of Kuwait. Unable to obtain a license, his business is illegal and subject to confiscation and fines.

;*;

This 54-year-old man was highly decorated in the Kuwait Air Force but was fired in 1991. Since then he has not been able to hold regular employment. 

;*;

A 30-year-old Bidoon man earns a living by driving his truck around as an illegal taxi. 

;*;

Bidoon women sell clothing at a market outside of Kuwait City, but cannot obtain business licenses.

;*;

As the older generation passes away, Bidoon homes are often destroyed to make way for other developments.

;*;

Graffiti adorns a wall in the Taimaa area  where a large population of Bidoon lives. It reads: "Til when are we Bidoon [without]?", and "I will break your heart".

Daylife ID:
1370257794394
Photographer:
Gregory Constantine;*;Gregory Constantine;*;Gregory Constantine;*;Gregory Constantine;*;Gregory Constantine;*;Gregory Constantine;*;Gregory Constantine;*;Gregory Constantine;*;Gregory Constantine;*;Gregory Constantine;*;Gregory Constantine;*;Gregory Constantine;*;Gregory Constantine
Image Source:
;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Kuwaiti Bindoon communityhttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394en-usAl Jazeerafeedback@daylife.com10Mon, 03 Jun 2013 11:09:54 GMTFri, 14 Jun 2013 16:37:02 GMT http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=0fio0he2sK9SP

Three men from the Bidoon community sit at a diwaniya. Translated from Arabic, 'Bidoon' means 'without'. Though they have lived in Kuwait for generations and have played a vital role in the development of modern Kuwait, they are denied any number of social, civil, economic and political rights. It is estimated that some 108,000 people from the Bidoon community in Kuwait are stateless and prohibited from acquiring citizenship. 

Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:57:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=0fio0he2sK9SPGregory ConstantineAl Jazeera Upload Images

Three men from the Bidoon community sit at a diwaniya. Translated from Arabic, 'Bidoon' means 'without'. Though they have lived in Kuwait for generations and have played a vital role in the development of modern Kuwait, they are denied any number of social, civil, economic and political rights. It is estimated that some 108,000 people from the Bidoon community in Kuwait are stateless and prohibited from acquiring citizenship. 

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=04xWdzh8x465F

Some 40,000 Bidoon live in the slum of Taimaa, which is located 40 minutes outside of Kuwait City. Without citizenship, Bidoon are not extended the many privileges provided to Kuwaiti citizens, including the right to own land and property and the right to receive generous housing subsidies by the Kuwait government.

Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:52:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=04xWdzh8x465FGregory ConstantineAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Some 40,000 Bidoon live in the slum of Taimaa, which is located 40 minutes outside of Kuwait City. Without citizenship, Bidoon are not extended the many privileges provided to Kuwaiti citizens, including the right to own land and property and the right to receive generous housing subsidies by the Kuwait government.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=0fpo0u0aOF6AE

After working for the as an officer in Kuwait Police for 18 years, this 60-year-old man was fired from his job in 1991. Prior to 1985, the Bidoon enjoyed many of the same rights as other Kuwaitis. Generations of Bidoon worked for the Kuwait government as well as in the Kuwait Police, Kuwait army and for the Kuwait Oil Company. But, in the mid-1980s, the Kuwait government began to strip the Bidoon of most of their rights. 

Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:53:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=0fpo0u0aOF6AEGregory ConstantineAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

After working for the as an officer in Kuwait Police for 18 years, this 60-year-old man was fired from his job in 1991. Prior to 1985, the Bidoon enjoyed many of the same rights as other Kuwaitis. Generations of Bidoon worked for the Kuwait government as well as in the Kuwait Police, Kuwait army and for the Kuwait Oil Company. But, in the mid-1980s, the Kuwait government began to strip the Bidoon of most of their rights. 

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=09Z06f67BibAm

Bidoon gather for a demonstration on Oct 2, 2012 in the Taimaa area 45 minutes outside of Kuwait City to demonstrate for their right to equality and citizenship.

Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:50:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=09Z06f67BibAmGregory ConstantineAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Bidoon gather for a demonstration on Oct 2, 2012 in the Taimaa area 45 minutes outside of Kuwait City to demonstrate for their right to equality and citizenship.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=0brJ1LPdAu9TY

Bidoon demonstrations over the past two years have been met with violent crackdowns by the Kuwaiti authorities. Kuwait security forces dispatched some 1000 police and special forces to the protest on Oct 2, 2012.

Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:51:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=0brJ1LPdAu9TYGregory ConstantineAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Bidoon demonstrations over the past two years have been met with violent crackdowns by the Kuwaiti authorities. Kuwait security forces dispatched some 1000 police and special forces to the protest on Oct 2, 2012.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=08u7d18fL46AV

The demonstration was met by a violent crackdown by Kuwait authorities. Kuwaiti security forces used teargas, smoke bombs, rubber bullets to stop the protesters. Eventually, almost 30 protesters were arrested and several were injured and hospitalized.

Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:51:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=08u7d18fL46AVGregory ConstantineAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

The demonstration was met by a violent crackdown by Kuwait authorities. Kuwaiti security forces used teargas, smoke bombs, rubber bullets to stop the protesters. Eventually, almost 30 protesters were arrested and several were injured and hospitalized.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=0gWCcEP3PneE0

A Bidoon man sells vegetables out of his truck in the Al-Jahra area of Kuwait. Unable to obtain a business license, his business is illegal and is subject to confiscation and fines of up to $1,700 USD by the authorities. He has been selling vegetables for 15 years and earns around $15 a day. Bidoon are not permitted to own businesses, land, and property. They also face in getting employment in the formal economy. As a result, many Bidoon work odd jobs in the informal economy and earn a fraction of what Kuwaiti citizens earn. 

Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:52:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=0gWCcEP3PneE0Gregory ConstantineAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

A Bidoon man sells vegetables out of his truck in the Al-Jahra area of Kuwait. Unable to obtain a business license, his business is illegal and is subject to confiscation and fines of up to $1,700 USD by the authorities. He has been selling vegetables for 15 years and earns around $15 a day. Bidoon are not permitted to own businesses, land, and property. They also face in getting employment in the formal economy. As a result, many Bidoon work odd jobs in the informal economy and earn a fraction of what Kuwaiti citizens earn. 

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=0a06bu3fn5gZ6

This 54-year-old man was highly decorated in the Kuwait Airforce but was fired in 1991. Since then he has not been able to hold regular employment. Both of his parents were born in Kuwait in the late 1930s. He has five children yet none of them have birth certificates and none of them want to get married because they do not want their children to be in the same situation as they are in. "While growning up I knew I was Kuwaiti. I don’t know anyplace else. I’ve been called Bidoon, and I’ve been called ‘undefined’, I have been call ‘illegal resident’, and I don’t know why? I don’t know what happened. I don't know why we are destined to live like this?"

Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:54:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=0a06bu3fn5gZ6Gregory ConstantineAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

This 54-year-old man was highly decorated in the Kuwait Airforce but was fired in 1991. Since then he has not been able to hold regular employment. Both of his parents were born in Kuwait in the late 1930s. He has five children yet none of them have birth certificates and none of them want to get married because they do not want their children to be in the same situation as they are in. "While growning up I knew I was Kuwaiti. I don’t know anyplace else. I’ve been called Bidoon, and I’ve been called ‘undefined’, I have been call ‘illegal resident’, and I don’t know why? I don’t know what happened. I don't know why we are destined to live like this?"

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=09dk6A6g0s5j4

A 30-year-old Bidoon man earns a living by driving his truck around as an illegal taxi. Having worked as a guard at a local shopping mall, he was paid only $550 USD per month, which wasn't enough to survive. Like many Bidoon, he had no choice but to start working odd jobs in the informal economy. Bidoon with the proper documents are permitted to hold drivers licenses but they cannot own or hold the title to a car. On top of that, they cannot legally drive a taxi because they are not permitted to hold a taxi license. To buy a car, they must have a Kuwaiti purchase the car and register it. "I paid 2000 KD ($7000 USD) for this car but I don't own it. I had to have a Kuwaiti friend buy it and register it under his name."

Fri, 14 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=09dk6A6g0s5j4Gregory ConstantineAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

A 30-year-old Bidoon man earns a living by driving his truck around as an illegal taxi. Having worked as a guard at a local shopping mall, he was paid only $550 USD per month, which wasn't enough to survive. Like many Bidoon, he had no choice but to start working odd jobs in the informal economy. Bidoon with the proper documents are permitted to hold drivers licenses but they cannot own or hold the title to a car. On top of that, they cannot legally drive a taxi because they are not permitted to hold a taxi license. To buy a car, they must have a Kuwaiti purchase the car and register it. "I paid 2000 KD ($7000 USD) for this car but I don't own it. I had to have a Kuwaiti friend buy it and register it under his name."

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=06J78Ytdzd2Rw

Kuwait government schools have small class sizes, while Bidoon children attend schools with much larger class size and much poorer school conditions, like this classroom at Al-Fajar school in Jaleeb al-Shiyukh.

Sun, 09 Jun 2013 08:04:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=06J78Ytdzd2RwGregory ConstantineAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Kuwait government schools have small class sizes, while Bidoon children attend schools with much larger class size and much poorer school conditions, like this classroom at Al-Fajar school in Jaleeb al-Shiyukh.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=01Gk5gPeU64YB

Bidoon women sell clothing and small garments at a market outside of Kuwait City. Unable to obtain business licenses they are vulnerable to fines and confiscation of property by the authorities.

Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:54:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=01Gk5gPeU64YBGregory ConstantineAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Bidoon women sell clothing and small garments at a market outside of Kuwait City. Unable to obtain business licenses they are vulnerable to fines and confiscation of property by the authorities.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=06W93DleiL54a

As the older generations pass away, Bidoon homes are often destroyed to make way for other developments, like these destroyed Bidoon homes in the Managaf area of Al-Ahmadi.

Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:55:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=06W93DleiL54aGregory ConstantineAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

As the older generations pass away, Bidoon homes are often destroyed to make way for other developments, like these destroyed Bidoon homes in the Managaf area of Al-Ahmadi.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=0baIcTCgF97FR

Graffiti adorns a wall in the Taimaa area of Kuwait where a large population of Bidoon lives. From left, the text reads "Til when are we Bidoon [without]?", and "I will break your heart".

Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:53:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1370257794394?image_id=0baIcTCgF97FRGregory ConstantineAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Graffiti adorns a wall in the Taimaa area of Kuwait where a large population of Bidoon lives. From left, the text reads "Til when are we Bidoon [without]?", and "I will break your heart".



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