Deprived of education and marriage, Tahani longs to reunite with her mother



Tahani, who was abandoned by her Saudi father in Cairo, was ecstatic when a court ordered him to come to Egypt to receive her and take her with him to the Kingdom. Because of some personal difficulties her father could not leave Jeddah and the Saudi Embassy in Cairo issued her a laissez-passer and entry permit to the Kingdom.

Her happiness, however, was short-lived as she has yet to be issued an identity card, something which has prevented her from pursuing an education or even getting married. Wiping tears from her face, Tahani, 29, recounted her story. Her father married her mother in Egypt, but he abandoned them when she was a baby, leaving Tahani with her mother.

Tahani arrived in Jeddah in 2009 with the laissez-passer issued by the Saudi Embassy. Her father received her at the airport under orders from the Jeddah governorate. He hurried to complete her official documents so Tahani’s status could be rectified and she could be included on his family card.

After filing her birth certificate and other documents that proved her father was a Saudi national, her case was then referred to the Civil Status Department in Jeddah. It’s been over five years since Tahani’s case was filed and she longs to return to Cairo and see her mother and get on with her life.

“I have been suffering for years. I could not complete my education because the education authorities refused to process my papers because I do not have an identity card that proves my Saudi citizenship. Also, I have missed the train of marriage as I am nearly 30.

“The laissez-passer I have is of no use when I go to a hospital for treatment. Furthermore, the laissez-passer expired some time ago and is now of no use at all. What makes things worse is that I cannot travel to Cairo to visit my mother nor can achieve my dream of performing Umrah,” she said.

Okaz/Saudi Gazette presented the issue with all its details to the spokesman of the Civil Status Department, Muhammad Al-Jasser, who apologized via an SMS message for not replying to phone calls as he is busy attending meetings. He then refused to reply or comment on the case.


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