Edition:
United States
Pictures | Wed Dec 19, 2012 | 9:19am EST

Arab Spring energizes Gulf's stateless

Ahmed Abdul Khaleq, a stateless rights activist from UAE, speaks to Reuters during an interview in Bangkok after being deported to Thailand in this July 17, 2012 file photo. When Ahmed Abdul Khaleq started campaigning for the rights of his fellow stateless people in the United Arab Emirates, he was well aware he was risking something most activists were not - his home. After two months in jail for what he said was his human rights activism and campaigning for the stateless, he was given a choice: life in jail or deportation. Abdul Khaleq's expulsion is a rare measure taken against stateless residents in the UAE. But his story is indicative of the plight of all bidoon, an Arabic word meaning "without", tens of thousands without citizenship under strict nationality laws in the U.S.-allied Gulf Arab states, where citizens enjoy generous welfare benefits. To match Feature GULF-STATELESS/ REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang/Files

Ahmed Abdul Khaleq, a stateless rights activist from UAE, speaks to Reuters during an interview in Bangkok after being deported to Thailand in this July 17, 2012 file photo. When Ahmed Abdul Khaleq started campaigning for the rights of his fellow...more

Ahmed Abdul Khaleq, a stateless rights activist from UAE, speaks to Reuters during an interview in Bangkok after being deported to Thailand in this July 17, 2012 file photo. When Ahmed Abdul Khaleq started campaigning for the rights of his fellow stateless people in the United Arab Emirates, he was well aware he was risking something most activists were not - his home. After two months in jail for what he said was his human rights activism and campaigning for the stateless, he was given a choice: life in jail or deportation. Abdul Khaleq's expulsion is a rare measure taken against stateless residents in the UAE. But his story is indicative of the plight of all bidoon, an Arabic word meaning "without", tens of thousands without citizenship under strict nationality laws in the U.S.-allied Gulf Arab states, where citizens enjoy generous welfare benefits. To match Feature GULF-STATELESS/ REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang/Files
Close
1 / 4
A Kuwait Special Forces officer removes a stateless protester after a rally in Kuwait's Tiama district in this May 1, 2012 file photo. The United Nations estimates that Saudi Arabia has some 70,000 stateless and Kuwait has 93,000. It has no figure for the UAE but activists estimate their numbers at between 10,000 and 50,000. UAE officials say the number is less than 5,000. Because they lack basic documents, many bidoons, an Arabic word meaning "without", in the Gulf are unable to own a house or a car and are limited to work only in the private sector with low pay while their children cannot attend public schools. Many live in poverty. To match Feature GULF-STATELESS/ REUTERS/Hani Abdullah/Files

A Kuwait Special Forces officer removes a stateless protester after a rally in Kuwait's Tiama district in this May 1, 2012 file photo. The United Nations estimates that Saudi Arabia has some 70,000 stateless and Kuwait has 93,000. It has no figure...more

A Kuwait Special Forces officer removes a stateless protester after a rally in Kuwait's Tiama district in this May 1, 2012 file photo. The United Nations estimates that Saudi Arabia has some 70,000 stateless and Kuwait has 93,000. It has no figure for the UAE but activists estimate their numbers at between 10,000 and 50,000. UAE officials say the number is less than 5,000. Because they lack basic documents, many bidoons, an Arabic word meaning "without", in the Gulf are unable to own a house or a car and are limited to work only in the private sector with low pay while their children cannot attend public schools. Many live in poverty. To match Feature GULF-STATELESS/ REUTERS/Hani Abdullah/Files
Close
2 / 4
Ahmed Abdul Khaleq, a stateless rights activist from UAE, shows his passport to Reuters during an interview in Bangkok after being deported to Thailand in this July 17, 2012 file photo. When Ahmed Abdul Khaleq started campaigning for the rights of his fellow stateless people in the United Arab Emirates, he was well aware he was risking something most activists were not - his home. After two months in jail for what he said was his human rights activism and campaigning for the stateless, he was given a choice: life in jail or deportation. Abdul Khaleq's expulsion is a rare measure taken against stateless residents in the UAE. But his story is indicative of the plight of all bidoon, an Arabic word meaning "without", tens of thousands without citizenship under strict nationality laws in the U.S.-allied Gulf Arab states, where citizens enjoy generous welfare benefits. To match Feature GULF-STATELESS/ REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang/Files

Ahmed Abdul Khaleq, a stateless rights activist from UAE, shows his passport to Reuters during an interview in Bangkok after being deported to Thailand in this July 17, 2012 file photo. When Ahmed Abdul Khaleq started campaigning for the rights of...more

Ahmed Abdul Khaleq, a stateless rights activist from UAE, shows his passport to Reuters during an interview in Bangkok after being deported to Thailand in this July 17, 2012 file photo. When Ahmed Abdul Khaleq started campaigning for the rights of his fellow stateless people in the United Arab Emirates, he was well aware he was risking something most activists were not - his home. After two months in jail for what he said was his human rights activism and campaigning for the stateless, he was given a choice: life in jail or deportation. Abdul Khaleq's expulsion is a rare measure taken against stateless residents in the UAE. But his story is indicative of the plight of all bidoon, an Arabic word meaning "without", tens of thousands without citizenship under strict nationality laws in the U.S.-allied Gulf Arab states, where citizens enjoy generous welfare benefits. To match Feature GULF-STATELESS/ REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang/Files
Close
3 / 4
Stateless Arabs demanding citizenship protest in Kuwait's Tiama district May 1, 2012. Kuwaiti riot police used batons and armoured trucks to disperse a group of about 200 stateless protesters, known in Arabic as "bidoon" and numbering up to 180,000 people, the latest rally by descendants of mainly desert nomads seeking improved rights in the oil-exporting Gulf state. Picture taken May 1, 2012. To match Feature GULF-STATELESS/ REUTERS/Hani Abdullah

Stateless Arabs demanding citizenship protest in Kuwait's Tiama district May 1, 2012. Kuwaiti riot police used batons and armoured trucks to disperse a group of about 200 stateless protesters, known in Arabic as "bidoon" and numbering up to 180,000...more

Stateless Arabs demanding citizenship protest in Kuwait's Tiama district May 1, 2012. Kuwaiti riot police used batons and armoured trucks to disperse a group of about 200 stateless protesters, known in Arabic as "bidoon" and numbering up to 180,000 people, the latest rally by descendants of mainly desert nomads seeking improved rights in the oil-exporting Gulf state. Picture taken May 1, 2012. To match Feature GULF-STATELESS/ REUTERS/Hani Abdullah
Close
4 / 4

Next Slideshows

South Korea's "Exam Village"

There are 30,000 residents of a drab neighborhood in Seoul known as Exam Village, where people preparing for tests for low-level civil service jobs have...

Dec 17 2012

Week in sports

A look at our top sports images of the past week.

Dec 17 2012

Roofless in Brazil

Thousands have joined a growing Roofless Movement who find shelter in abandoned or vacant buildings in Sao Paulo.

Dec 17 2012

Funeral for London nurse

The body of Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who committed suicide in London after a prank call by two Australian radio presenters, was flown to India for her...

Dec 17 2012

MORE IN PICTURES

Clashes break out at Trump rally

Clashes break out at Trump rally

Supporters of Trump clash with counter-protesters at a rally in Huntington Beach, California.

First 100 days of Trump

First 100 days of Trump

Major moments from the first days of the Trump administration.

Republicans pull healthcare bill

Republicans pull healthcare bill

President Donald Trump suffered a stunning political setback in a Congress controlled by his own party when Republican leaders pulled legislation to overhaul Obamacare, a major 2016 election campaign promise of the president and his allies.

Sunken South Korean ferry raised

Sunken South Korean ferry raised

The Sewol ferry that sank nearly three years ago, killing 304 people, most of them children on a school trip, slowly emerges from a gray sea.

Photos of the week

Photos of the week

Our top photos of the week.

The scramble for healthcare bill votes

The scramble for healthcare bill votes

GOP lawmakers struggle to overcome differences as a dramatic vote on healthcare looms.

Flashback: Egypt's Arab Spring

Flashback: Egypt's Arab Spring

A look back at the Egypt uprising that led to the overthrow of president Mubarak in 2011. Mubarak, the first leader to face trial after the Arab Spring protests that swept the region, was freed after six years in detention.

Highlights from Tokyo Fashion Week

Highlights from Tokyo Fashion Week

Backstage and collection highlights from Tokyo.

Iraqi forces edge further into Mosul

Iraqi forces edge further into Mosul

Iraqi forces enter Mosul's Old City as Islamic State militants put up fierce resistance from the close-packed houses and narrow streets.

Newer Slideshows Older Slideshows

Trending Collections

Pictures