Paying the price for others’ faults

Fatima Al-Saadi; 29/6/09

They are children without known lineages, often the outcome of illegitimate relationships. Their mothers abandoned them in streets or outside mosques at birth, as they could not bear the shame of giving birth outside wedlock. With no one to turn to, such children are taken to social care homes, where — deprived of the warmth and care of a father and mother — they are raised alongside orphans. The number of children without traceable lineages has been on the rise in recent years. Although not guilty of any crime, they pay the price for others’ mistakes. The greatest difficulty such children face is perhaps in marrying; this is especially the case for women. Most men, particularly those who come from decent families, simply do not want to marry women without traceable lineages. Men with mental illnesses or criminal records who struggle to find a match often agree to marry them, but they then end up having troubled married lives because their husbands do not respect them and remind them of their unknown parentage.