When Aysha of India dreamed of marrying a Gulf man to pull her out of poverty back at home, her dream was only partly fulfilled. For she got that husband from the Gulf but not wealth and now she and her son could be kicked out of their house in Ras Al Khaimah following the death of her husband.
Aysha had got her husband from Ras Al Kahimah through the so-called marriage contractors, who have mushroomed in India in the past years with the aim of making money by seeking husbands for local women struggling out poverty and wives for Gulf citizens trying to excape high dowries at home.
After completing marriage arrangements, Aysha travelled to Ras Al Khaimah and met her new husband. She liked him, settled with him in Shaam area and had a baby boy. But it was several years before the stunned Aysha found out that her husband is not an Emirati - he was a bedoun or without nationality.
Although she was allowed to stay in the UAE after the death of her husband, she faced two major problems-supporting her son and getting him a nationality.
“I liked and respected my husband because he was struggling to support us but I acknowledge that I had difficulties and problems because he was without identity…my problems got worse after his death and this gave me a feeling of uncertainty and fear…I wanted my son to get a nationality and I tried the Indian nationality but they refused to grant it to him on the grounds India does not give citizenship to sons born to foreign husbands,” Aysha said, quoted by the Dubai-based Arabic language daily Emarat Al Youm.
“I kept trying to get him a citizenship to ensure he can stay with me in the UAE…we finally tried Comoros and it granted him nationality….my son is now around 20 years old but we do not have a fixed source of income…I go out sometimes to do some work for old women in my area in return for small sums of money to support ourselves and pay Dh800 monthly rent.”
Aysha says that although the rent is not high, it drains most of her earnings as she has to spend the rest on her unemployed son and other things.
“We now face expulsion from our house…if the landlord kicks me out, I will not blame him because he has been very patient with us…. if we are thrown out, I have no where else to go…who would give us accommodation which we can not afford to pay….I appeal for benevolent people to help us.”