NEWS

Fijian Passport Soon, Rida Thanks PM

Lebanese-born Rida Senibulu will soon realise his and his mother’s dream. The 17-year-old’s blue Fijian pass­port is on its way to Beirut. Rida’s mother is Lebanese and father is a
05 Jun 2018 11:20
Fijian Passport Soon, Rida Thanks PM
From left: Samia Jradi and her Fijian son Rida Senibulu.

Lebanese-born Rida Senibulu will soon realise his and his mother’s dream.

The 17-year-old’s blue Fijian pass­port is on its way to Beirut.

Rida’s mother is Lebanese and father is a Fijian soldier who once served with UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon) in Southern Lebanon.

After years of trying to convince Fijian au­thorities that he is Fijian, Rida and mother, Samia Jradi, are relieved their persever­ance has paid off.

Rida believes that it was through the prayers of his mother, the support of his Fi­jian family and friends that had finally got­ten him an identity.

Now he can go to school, get a job and live like a normal resident of Beirut because he is a citizen of Fiji.

His citizenship certificate, it is under­stood, has been signed by the Prime Minis­ter Voreqe Bainimarama.

In providing proper identification for her son who carries a Fijian name, her son would feel safe living with her in Lebanon and complete his education without fear to travel anywhere

Ms Jradi received confirmation from the Department of Immigration that Rida would soon receive his official passport with his citizenship certificate confirming his iden­tity under the Fijian Government.

“I called them frequently, they continued to advise me and I thank them for answer­ing my calls.I never lost hope, I kept praying for my son, I was getting worried, but God is wonderful, Rida and I are very happy,” Ms Jradi said.

She said there had been times she was be­ginning to worry, but the desire to get her son starting a proper life with a proper iden­tity was all she could think of.

Department of Immigration director Nem­ani Vuniwaqa could not be reached for com­ment on the matter. In an earlier article, Mr Vuniwaqa stated that the department did not have any issues with the application process.

Meanwhile, when Rida was asked if he would visit Fiji? He replied that he would first look into continuing his education to now support his mother and move on with his life.

He said he had not planned to visit Fiji at the moment but he acknowledged his Fijian family in Lebanon and Fiji for standing by him and PM Bainimarama for approving his citizenship.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

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