Children without rights… about the story of Libya’s first goal at the World Cup

Zakaria Boukhalal, Moroccan, Dutch and Libyan player. The order of nationality is not important except in his calculations as a player, perhaps, since he grew up playing with the national teams of three countries and their clubs, before finally choosing to play for the Moroccan national team that invited him to participate in the 2022 World Cup that will be held in Qatar.

The goal he scored against Belgium and Morocco’s place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup opened the door for Libya to talk about several topics.

Although Libya is the only North African country that has not qualified for the World Cup throughout its history, the presence of “Boukhalal” in the Moroccan national team, as a Libyan player of Moroccan nationality, reopened the issue of citizenship in Libya, and turned their country into an environment that threw it out, along with the crisis of the Libyan football failure, which forced the Libyan football fans to be content with one player at the World Cup without the presence of the Libyan national team.

The presence of “Boukhalal” in the Moroccan national team, as a Libyan player with a Moroccan mother, reopened the issue of citizenship in Libya.

A semi-citizen

Morocco recognized the player as a Moroccan citizen and included him in their national team, based on his mother’s Moroccan nationality being sufficient to grant him citizenship as well.

This is in contrast to Libya, which does not give a mother the right to give her children the citizenship of her country. The strict Libyan citizenship law considers a woman a citizen with incompetent citizenship, a fact approved by law and denied by the logic of the modern state. According to Libyan laws, a woman has the right to grant citizenship only in one case, as recognized by Law no. 24 of 2010, which is the case of a child born in Libya to a Libyan mother and a father of unknown nationality or a stateless person.

Unselected target

A few seconds after the end of the match between Morocco and Belgium, a polemic started on social networks, which reached the extent of raising the question of the existence of Libya itself and whether “Boukhalal” is only from Tripoli or only from Cyrenaica, as some swore. he was his grandfather’s neighbor in the old city of Tripoli. And the other swears in honor of his tribe that the player returns his origin to Cyrenaica, more precisely to the “Barasa” tribe, so the Barqawi / Barqawi conflict begins, compared to the fact that he is from the “Al -Hasi” or from the “Al-Ma’arfa” tribe, so polemics flare up on the pages of Libyan communication sites, behind which you can see the depth of the Libyan crisis. Who is actually not always Libyan enough, the tribe always comes first.

And on a parallel virtual site, a dialogue was created in which voices were raised due to the impossibility of reckoning between the two lines, one of which says that “Boukhalal” is an Arab, and the other that he is a Berber, and this is the other tribe behind which the Libyans are hiding, because Libya alone is not enough.

Libya, despite its small population, which the Libyans disagreed about the number, and whether it is six, seven or eight million, because the number increases and decreases according to the share of each tribe in the oil revenues. , Libya is certainly not enough to grant its citizenship to the children of Libyan women who married non-Libyans, This is the most important issue that exposes the contradiction of the collective mind in a country where almost everyone refuses to grant citizenship to the children of non-Libyan wives, while at the same time spreading messages of pride in being The Libyan – after temporarily ignoring the dispute over his ethnic and tribal origins – scored a goal at the World Cup, which whoever does it, if the country of his native nationality did not give it to him, becomes a first-class Moroccan.

Libyans and semi-Libyans

Libya’s citizenship law divides citizens into two categories based on gender; Citizens, they are men, and have the right to name their children Libya, giving them citizenship, and Libyan women do not have the same right to the same for their children in the absence of a Libyan male birth certificate, so a Libyan woman is in reality a half-citizen. Marrying a non-Libyan, via justifications starting from the principle of mistrust towards foreigners, and fear for naive Libyan women, to fear for national security, in the case of complete disregard for the concept of citizenship and equal rights between citizens of different gender, skin color, social class, religion, or political or cultural orientation , which is stated in the Libyan constitution that was overthrown by the Jamahiriya regime, and the draft constitution that has not yet been adopted and is awaiting ten years of difficult birth, and which is awaiting ratification since the election of the drafting commission in 2014, and that is another issue.

Rights are not for everyone

The denial of the right of mothers married to non-Libyans to give their children Libyan citizenship caused the denial, or in a more realistic language, the obstruction of their most basic natural rights, such as education, movement and In fact, the matter came to the point that the mufti came forward with a call to prevent Libyan women from marry foreigners in 2013, until The number of Libyan women married to foreigners does not exceed 15,000. The mufti considers them illegal criminals, according to his fatwa. This is a very strange fatwa, which many ignore because it targets the weakest link in Libyan society, namely Libyan women married to non-Libyans.

Despite the adoption of a decision by the Libyan government, the legitimacy of which is first of all questionable, by which the children of Libyan women are recognized with all the rights equal to other Libyans in theory, the decision, according to the description of the “Human Rights Watch” organization, is a discriminatory decree, in addition to being ineffective primarily because is in contradiction with the legislation. In parallel with it, it is not resolved by a decision, but by a law higher than it, which is the constitution, the birth of which has been delayed for more than a decade until today. are not employed (housewives), because the children of Libyan women are still For non-Libyan parents who are excluded from the right to receive this support, for example.

Libyan law prohibits a Libyan woman from passing on her citizenship to her children if she marries a non-Libyan

After Morocco qualified for the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time in its history, the Libyans felt that they were sharing this achievement with one player, a player who both exposed the double standards of the society that rules Libya and governed the customs of the tribe, a tribe that refuses the participation of foreigners in his rent, oil, land and women. And after the tribe accidentally acquired a state, they started to prevent a foreigner from sharing their nationality, which is treated as a racket of a tribe whose name is only carried by men, so “Boukhlal” was Libyan at heart because his mother gave him Moroccan citizenship, and at the same time there are more than 30 thousand “Boukhlal” who have no right He bore the name of Libya in a local football match, only because the tribe does not recognize the lineage of the child through the mother.

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