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Lebanese Mother Seeks Safety For Fijian Son

Lebanese Mother Seeks Safety For Fijian Son
August 31
11:00 2017

A Lebanese mother of a 16-year-old boy who has paternal links to Fiji is urging Government to consider her son’s citizenship application so he can come to Fiji.

Samia Jradi reached out to the Fiji Sun, pleading for the safety and security of her son as she was seeking information on the process of a Fijian passport for him.

Ms Jradi said it was in 1999 that she met the father of her son during his Republic of Fiji Military Forces peacekeeping duties in Lebanon.

“This was when my parents opened a clothing shop for all Fijians and this man was my brother’s closest friend,” she said.

“He came to Lebanon five times for work, and we got married in year 2000. In 2001 I gave birth to our adorable son.”

However, not all went well for the couple and soon the father left Lebanon when she was eight months pregnant.

She claims that when he left them behind he said he did not wish to see her and the child again.

But the woman is now seeking help, not for herself but her son.

She claims her son has not been given the chance to get educated in the Middle East country because of his father’s origins.

She wants him to come over to Fiji and live a normal life here.

According to a Lebanese Citizenship website, the Lebanese nationality is transmitted paternally.

Therefore, a Lebanese man who holds Lebanese citizenship can automatically confer citizenship to his children and foreign wives (only if entered in the Civil Acts Register in the Republic of Lebanon).

A child is Lebanese at birth if he or she is the child of a married couple of whom the father is a Lebanese citizen. However, before registering a child, they need to register your marriage in the country where it took place.

Ms Jradi claims her son, who bears an iTaukei surname, is always at home because Police would ask him for his proper identification, if he went out.

The 16-year-old is Rida Senibulu.

“I fear for his safety, my son carries a Fijian name, he can’t even go to school because of his name.”

She said she has been able to contact her son’s father, who has claimed that he has done all he can with the Immigration Department but the delay is from the Fijian authorities.

“He says, he has filed our son’s documents but the problem is from Fiji. They do not want to give the passport because our son was born in Lebanon.

“We don’t have a house and I stay with a family member and don’t let our son go out, I fear for his safety. I just want him to have a proper life, to be in his paternal country.”

Ms Jradi said she has been trying to keep in touch with her son’s father since the day the child was born and understands he has moved on.

However, all she seeks is the rights of the child to be in his paternal country, to feel loved and be safe.

The father stated: “Whatever can be done has been done. I am in touch with the authorities and it is being processed.”

The director of Immigration, Nemani Vuniwaqa says this is a sensitive issue and he understands the woman’s desperation to get her son across.

“For us, the Department of Immigration has no issues, we will process the application as it is lodged with us and according to the laws, regulations and policies in place,” Mr Vuniwaqa said.

He said the accusations and allegations by the parents that the department is not going forward with the application is false because the department was yet to receive all relevant documents.

“For us, our policy is that we will only start processing when the application is lodged in full. We are waiting for all the documents.”

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