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Arab TS facing identity crisis after sex change operation

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Susan:
Local facing identity crisis after sex change operation
By Sanaa Maadad UAE Editor, and Eman Al Baik
14 July 2005

DUBAI — Hamda, formerly Hamad, a young UAE national, is now suffering from an identity crisis because of a lack of legislation on sex change in the country. Amidst social condemnation and the absence of an official stance on the issue, Hamda is campaigning for the right to be legally declared a female.

The concept of sex change is still taboo in Arab societies. However, irrespective of Hamad’s reasons to become a woman, and the country where the operation took place, Hamda is a reality which society must now face. "Hamda is now a fact that we must face. We cannot keep treating her as a male. Not recognising Hamda’s right to legalise her new identity is oppression from a human point of view," commented Dr Mohammed Abdullah Al Rokn, a reputed lawyer and human rights activist in the UAE and the former chairman of the Emirates Jurists Association.

The case provoked questions of acceptance of such operations from legal, religious and social perspectives. On government documents, Hamda is still Hamad. Friends and neighbours who used to teasingly call him Hamda since he was a child, are now showering abuses when he became Hamda for all practical purposes. "On government documents, she is still Hamad until further notification," said Brigadier Saeed bin Bleilah, Director of Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD). "The department cannot accept any request for changing a citizen’s sex on government documents without a court order."

He said that Hamad should first obtain a medical report from the Ministry of Health stating that his condition required an urgent surgical intervention. "If Hamad obtained a court order to change his sex, only then the DNRD can amend the personal data. Only then, he can be officially recognised as a female," he explained adding, "But if not, Hamada will continue to be a man in the eyes of the government in spite of his feminine features." [Read More]

Cassandra:
Makes me glad to be a US citizen, were at least you can get a legal declaration. I can't imagine the hardship of living in the middle east as a transwoman. I hope all goes well for her and they get some laws passed to help others like her.

We still have far to go here in this country but at least some progress has been made.

Cassie

Sandi:

--- Quote from: Susan ---The concept of sex change is still taboo in Arab societies.
--- End quote ---
That is pretty much true, but there is one exception that I know of. Iran for one is allowing gender resignment surgery with the blessings of members of the ruling Shiite clergy. To bad they don't allow other basic freedoms as well, like free elections.

I posted on this last Febuary, from the LA Times. In the article one of the clerics (obviously with no knowledge of <transgender>) looks at it as an option for homosexuals, but further into the article it becomes clear that homosexuals in Iran are screened out as they are elsewhere.


Sandi

stephanie_craxford:
I remember that post Sandi.  It just shows the differences between countries,  Fundamentalist Iran is more liberal than liberal UAE, a little confusing sometimes.  It is true, even though TS's still face many barriers in North America, we should count our blessings and be thankful for living here.  It can be a slow journey but at least it's one that has a happy ending for most.

Steph

Maura Hartman:
I was amazed to meet one of the lovliest MtF post-op women I've ever seen in Seattle a few years ago. She was an Iranian and had transitioned in Tehran under the rule of the Sheite Mullahs. Must have been hell for her!

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