I’m sure you all remember Khouloud and Nidal Sukkariyeh, the first Lebanese couple to get a civil marriage without going to Cyprus and forcing our government to recognize it as legitimate, using a loophole that existed in our constitution back from the days of the French mandate.
We all knew as well that they were awaiting their first born when the news of their marriage spread like wildfire among the Lebanese populace. We wondered what would happen to that child, bureaucratically and whatnot. Well, we now have our answer.
Ghadi, Khouloud and Nidal’s firstborn, is – I believe – the first Lebanese citizen to be born without a sect plastered across his papers. The Lebanese mold has been broken once again.
This is obviously great news. It’s another firm step in getting our country to become more aware of citizens like Khouloud, Nidal and their son who don’t want to be governed by regulations that are detrimental to their well-being as citizens and which are custom-made to the community they just happened to be born in.
It’s a firm step in getting people who have lived all their lives believing there’s no alternative to realize that yes, something could be done about the situation we’re in. And it’s also a firm step in, maybe, changing the perception of those who view all of this as one big load of unacceptable actions.
But I have to wonder: is 2013 Lebanon the best place for a child like Ghadi to be born into regarding his sect-less identity? Our country is divided among sects. Job interviews need you to be honest about your religious affiliations. You can’t get into certain places if you don’t have a wasta that is contingent upon your political affiliation and your sect. The entire country is built in a way that allows those and only those who exist within the grand mold of a “sectual” identity – even if only on paper – to truly have a shot at making it.
I hope the current status quo isn’t bad news to Ghadi because it would be a shame for a child that just made the history books to go down memory lane unremembered. Allah y3ayysho.