Friday, November 23, 2007

Lebanon president deadline looms

President Emile Lahoud
President Lahoud wants to appoint an army chief as his successor
Lebanese MPs are facing a deadline of midnight to appoint a new president.

However, mediators fear rival camps will fail to reach a deal, plunging the country into a deeper political crisis.

Repeated attempts to elect a new president over the past two months have been scuppered by rivalry between Western-backed and pro-Syrian factions.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who has been trying to broker a solution, said despite complications "a miracle is still possible".

But his Italian counterpart, Massimo D'Alema, was pessimistic on the eve of Friday's deadline.

"Tomorrow, I don't believe there will be an election and this will create difficult conditions," he said.

The French, Italian and Spanish foreign ministers have spent several days in Lebanon, meeting rival groups in an attempt to break the deadlock.

A vote in parliament has been scheduled for 1300 (1100 GMT), 11 hours before current President Emile Lahoud's term expires.

No compromise

The election of a president requires a two-thirds majority, which means that the anti-Syrian ruling bloc - with its slim majority - cannot force its preferred candidate through parliament. A deal with the opposition is therefore required.

The rival factions cannot agree on a compromise candidate, however.

Nassib Lahoud: Government candidate. Former US ambassador. Leading industrialist
Michel Aoun: Opposition candidate. Former army commander who fought Syria during civil war. Returned from exile in 2005. Vocal opponent of government
Michel Suleiman: Army commander since 1998. Electing him requires constitutional amendment
Riad Salameh: Central bank governor since 1993. Widely respected at home and abroad. Election requires constitutional amendment
Boutrous Harb: Pro-government candidate. MP and former minister
Jean Obeid: Possible consensus candidate. Foreign minister 2003-2004

And the opposition has warned it may boycott Friday's session, thus ensuring the quorum will not be reached and any vote will be invalid.

According to Article 62 of the Lebanese constitution, if no candidate is elected before Mr Lahoud's mandate expires, his powers are automatically transferred to the anti-Syrian government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

However, President Lahoud has vowed not to hand over power to Mr Siniora, and said he would name army chief General Michel Suleiman as his provisional successor instead.

Opposition leader Michel Aoun proposed a compromise on Thursday, whereby an interim president would be selected to fill the office until parliamentary elections were held in 2009.

This was dismissed by the ruling majority, however, which said the plan was unconstitutional.

The political deadlock has already led to the vote being postponed four times since 25 September.

The BBC's Kim Ghattas in Beirut says the failure to find a compromise has raised fears of civil strife, including the possibility that the opposition could create a rival administration, as happened during the civil war.

International efforts

Our correspondent says the issue is turning into a regional and international affair.

The US, Russia, Syria and Iran are all intensely involved and there has been a lot of diplomatic shuttling between Damascus, Moscow, Tehran and Paris.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned several of the country's top leaders on Monday.

Fears are growing that failure to elect a president will bring more turmoil to Lebanon.

The army has increased its presence on the streets of Beirut and set up checkpoints, some schools have cancelled classes until Monday, and the ministry of interior has suspended all firearm permits until further notice.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I want my son and my husband to become lebos!!

About the Campaign

Women’s right to equal citizenship is guaranteed by the majority of Arab constitutions, as well as by international law. Yet across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the Gulf, women are denied their right to nationality – a crucial component of citizenship.

In almost every country in the MENA and Gulf regions, women who marry men of other nationalities cannot confer their original nationality to their husbands or children. Only fathers, not mothers, can confer their nationality to their children.

Discriminatory laws denying women equal nationality rights undermine women’s status as equal citizens in their home countries. Such laws send the message that women do not enjoy a direct relationship with the state, but must access their citizenship rights through mediation of a male family member, such as a father or a husband. Until women in the MENA and Gulf regions are recognized as full nationals and citizens, they cannot participate fully in public life, nor claim the other rights to which they are entitled as equal members of their societies.

The denial of women’s nationality rights also created real suffering for dual nationality families living in the woman’s home country. Children and spouses are treated as foreigners and must obtain costly residence permits. Children are often excluded from social services such as social security, healthcare and subsidized or free access to education. In many countries, spouses and children have limited employment opportunities and are unable to own property. In terms of psychological impact, many women feel isolated and guilty because they feel responsible for the difficulties faced by their families, while children suffer from low self-esteem because of their second-class status.
Goals of the Campaign

The Women’s Learning Partnership joins with regional partners in the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf to call for:

* Legal reform enabling women to confer their nationality to their husbands and children without condition
* Full implementation of reformed nationality laws and equal access to these laws for all women
* Recognition of women as equal citizens in all areas of life

المطالبة بالمساواة في حق المواطنة

حملة من أجل المطالبة بحق النساء العربيات في نقل الجنسية

تعريف عن الحملة

لقد أقرت معظم الدساتير العربية والقوانين الدولية حق النساء في مواطنة متساوية. إلا أن النساء في بلدان المشرق والمغرب العربيين وفي منطقة الخليج العربي، لايزلن محرومات من حقهن في منح جنسيتهن إلى عائلاتهن (الزوج والأولاد) في حال تزوجن من جنسية أخرى، هذا الحق الذي يشكل عنصرا حاسما من عناصر المواطنة.

ففي معظم دول المشرق والمغرب العربيين، لا يحق للنساء اللاتي يتزوجن من رجال من غير جنسيتهن أن يمنحن جنسيتهن إلى الزوج والأولاد، حيث يقتصر هذا الحق على الرجال دون سواهم.

وبالتالي فإن القوانين التمييزية التي تحول دون حق النساء بمنح جنسيتهن إلى الزوج والأولاد، تؤثر سلباً على تمتنع النساء بمواطنة كاملة وفاعلة. هذا النوع من التمييز القانوني يحرم النساء كمواطنات من تمتعهن بعلاقة مباشرة بالدولة، إذ لابد من وجود وسيط ذكر، لكي تحصل على مستحقاتها وحقوقها. وعليه، فإن النساء في دول المشرق والمغرب العربيين، وفي دول الخليج العربي، لن يشاركن في بصورة كاملة وفاعلة في مرافق الحياة العامة، ولن يتمكن من الولوج إلى المستحقات الإجتماعية إلا إذا تمتعن بمواطنة كاملة.

ومن جهة أخرى، فإن حرمان المرأة من ممارسة حقها بالمواطنة الكاملة عبر قدرتها على منح الجنسية، يسبب معاناة حقيقية لأفراد أسرها الذين يعيشون في وطن والدتهم/هن، ويحملون جنسية مخالفة، حيث يعامل الأطفال والأزواج كأجانب وبالتالي يتوجب عليهم/هن دفع مصاريف مكلفة للحصول على تصاريح الإقامة. هذا فضلاً عن حرمان الأطفال وعدم تمتعهم/هن بالخدمات الاجتماعية، مثل الرعاية الصحية والضمان الاجتماعي والإعانات و الحصول على التعليم المجاني. كما يعاني الأزواج والأبناء في عدد كبير من هذه البلدان من محدودية فرص العمل وغياب الحق في الملكية.

أما بالنسبة لتبعات ذلك النفسية، فإن الكثير من النساء يشعرن بالعزلة ويتملكهن الشعور بالذنب كونهم يعتبرن أنفسهن مسؤولات على الصعوبات التي تواجهها أفراد أسرهن، في حين يعاني الأطفال من تدني احترام الذات بسبب وضعهم القانوني الذي يجعل منهم مواطنين من الدرجة الثانية.

أهداف الحملة

ينضم “التضامن النسائي للتعلم من أجل الحقوق و التنمية و السلام” / Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) إلى الجمعيات الجهوية الشريكة له في بلدان الشرق الأوسط و شمال إفريقيا و منطقة الخليج للمطالبة ب :

• إصلاح قانوني يعطي المرأة حق نقل جنسيتها لزوجها وأطفالها دون شروط،

• تنفيذ كامل للإصلاحات التي تم تعديلها في قوانين الجنسية والحق لجميع النساء بالتمتع بهذه القوانين،

• الاعتراف بالنساء كمواطنات على قدم المساواة مع غيرهن من المواطنين في كافة مجالات الحياة.

حملة منظمة من طرف “التضامن النسائي للتعلم من أجل الحقوق و التنمية و السلام ” بمشاركة مع “مركز الإعلام و التوثيق لحقوق الطفل و المرأة” (الجزائر ،(CIDEF/
” جمعية النساء البحرينيات” (البحرين ،(BWS/
” منتدى النساء من أجل التنمية” (مصر ،(FWID/
” المعهد الدولي لتضامن النساء” (الأردن ،(SIGI/J/
“ مجموعة الأبحاث و التدريب للعمل التنموي” (لبنان ،(CRTD-A/
و الجمعية الديمقراطية لنساء المغرب (المغرب (ADFM/
Take Action

* Sign the Petition
* Tell a Friend
* Action Survey #2

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


حملة "خلص!" مبادرة مستقلّة أطلقها المجتمع المدني، في كافة أطرافه ومكوّناته من أفراد ونقابات وجمعيات ومؤسسات غير حكومية ومؤسسات خاصة. نسعى من خلال هذه الحملة الى التشديد على خطورة الأزمة الراهنة التي يتخبّط فيها لبنان، والضغط على الأطراف السياسية من أجل انهاء الجمود السلبي الذي وصلت إليه، مصمّمين على ضرورة تخطّي هذه المرحلة المصيرية.

Khalass! campaign is an independent initiative led by the Lebanese civil society in all its components: syndicates, associations, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. We seek through this campaign to emphasize the gravity of the current political crisis in Lebanon and to exert pressure on the leaders of political ends in order to overcome today’s deadlock. Getting through this vital period is crucial to ascertain our will to live together.

Khalass ! est une campagne indépendante initiée par la société civile libanaise dans ses différentes composantes (individus, syndicats, associations, organisations non gouvernementales, entreprises privées). Khalass ! un cri de conscience face à la gravité de la conjoncture actuelle ; un appel lancé aux responsables politiques pour les exhorter à dépasser cette impasse étatique neutralisante. En surmontant la crise, nous affirmons la volonté des libanais de continuer à vivre ensemble.