“Rents are expensive when you live on your own, and we’re as good as married because we’re public about our relationship,” they explained during a social gathering at their modest apartment in downtown Beirut.
“So the logical conclusion is for us to live together.” In attendance at the gathering was a young woman from Damascus who is now living with male roommates in Beirut.
Without a system that spells out the responsibility of society toward illegitimate children, and without mechanisms that support desperate mothers, illegitimate babies are often abandoned in a bassinet at a mosque or a public park, where they immediately become wards of the state.
They are then stigmatized and grow up as personae non gratae in their own country.
“Their national ID number begins with zero zero zero, which makes them stand out, and even the police usually aren’t familiar with it, so often the police accuse them of carrying a counterfeit document and they can’t access government services like health care or education, or even get a job,” said Shafakoj, noting that this problem occurs in other Arab countries as well.
Before Shafakoj could screen her documentary, the Jordanian security apparatus got word of it and panicked.
Such stories are becoming commonplace among Syrian refugees.
Even in relatively stable Jordan, an emboldened youth is starting to change the ways of an antiquated establishment.
He sent query emails to evolution scientists around the world, asking them if what they were saying was true.“In other words, the Internet, with social media at its forefront, is increasingly part of the daily reality of the everyday Arab citizen—and the conversation on it has a strong liberal flavor,” Benchemsi writes.Benchemsi also cites studies that are starting to look at how Arab youth are transitioning these conversations from cyber space into real life.This is because the Islamic tradition holds lineage in the utmost regard.Thus when it comes to illegitimate children whose parentage is unknown, jurisprudence is murky, and religious authorities in Arab countries have done little to address the issue.