Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Bahrain Mirror published a book entitled, "Stateless: Stripping of Nationality Explained to Amaseel" by Bahraini critic and author Ali Al-Dairy, August 2017.
The book was penned in a unique manner, based on a dialogue between Al-Dairy and his 13-year-old daughter, Amaseel, in response to her questions about the meaning and reasons for the revocation of his nationality along with dozens of other citizens, who were stripped of their citizenships by the Bahraini authorities for politically motivated reasons, and for being linked to the February 14 uprising in 2011.
Al-Dairy, who emigrated to Canada in early 2016 after residing five years in Lebanon, said he had organized meetings with his daughter to discuss these questions and compite them in a book. She began by reading Amnesty International's report on the revocation of his nationality along with 71 others by a royal decree in January 2015. Her first question was: Why are the grounds for revoking the Bahraini nationality vague, as Amnesty International states?"
The Bahraini author noted that he found this to be a key question to start off the dialogue of the book with, and from which a host of other questions came about. He said the issue presented in this book became the main topic they talked about while we were on the road, at home and in the cafe, and that he began to form the questions through these discussions, and then arrange them according to the logic of the answers. "I left them as they were and did not make an effort to rephrase them so that they would tie in with Amaseel's chronological age of 13," he said, adding that he wanted this book to stay with her for years to come.
For her part, under the title, "we all left the house," Amaseel depicts in the introduction of the book the journey of her father's statelessness, since he left the country in 2011 until they all arrived in the city of Windsor, where they reside now.
In an innocent tone, Amaseel explained what the stripping of her father's nationality meant for her, as well as the family's decision to leave the country permanently and settle in Canada to be reunited after five years of separation. "We all left the house- my grandfather first, my father second, and then us third. This is what I comprehend from the revocation of citizenship."
Al-Dairy stressed that he wanted to explain to the children of those stripped of their nationality the meaning of this term with all its indications, the meaning of nationality and citizenship and the meaning of not having a homeland to which one legally belongs. He also wanted to explain why their parents' nationalities were revoked, and why their siblings born after this date will not be granted nationalities.
"Many children of February 14 are also wondering: Why were their parents stripped of their nationalities? Why were their brothers executed? Why are their cousins sentenced to life imprisonment? Why are their classmates arrested? Why do funeral processions of the martyrs of their homeland do not end? This book is an attempt to answer some of these urgent questions poking at their thorny existence in this tiny country."
The Bahraini author further noted that the title of the book was inspired by Tahar Ben Jelloun's (Racism Explained to My Daughter), in which he discussed his ten-year-old daughter's questions about the 1997 protests against the Debré law, a law dealing with foreigners' rights in France.
Ali Al-Dairy is a Bahraini critic, author and researcher specialized in speech analysis. He has written for several newspapers and has published a number of widely acclaimed works. He holds a PhD in speech analysis. He is an author, interested in the issues of violence, Takfir and the problems of modern religious groups. He has recently published (in Arabic), "The God of Monstrosity: Wahhabism, Politics and Takfirism," "Texts of Monstrosity: Takfirism from Seljuk Orthodoxy to Salafism of Ibn Taymiyyah," "How Philosophers Think" and "Outside the Sect". He will soon issue a book entitled, "Who is a Bahraini?"
"Stateless" was published in both Arabic and English.
Al-Dairy dedicated the book to marty Ali Al-Moemen, "They stripped me of my nationality on the day they spilled your blood."