(The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Spread across the living room floor of a small house in Zahle's Kfar Zabad, the Bedouin Saleh family lamented the circumstances that have left many of their people stateless. Though the parents of the Saleh family are Lebanese citizens, their children have no nationality. The presence of Bedouin in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley dates back to the 13th century.Taimey explained that the land had been informally divided between the tribes, with specific parcels for each family, until the French changed the system.Many considered themselves to be Lebanese, but the rapid changes were not beneficial for Bedouins.Chatty explained that some Bedouins saw it as fighting the French.With the world changing so quickly around them, many of the old Bedouin traditions have been lost.As the Bedouin have settled, they have become more similar to the societies they live alongside."In Lebanon they prefer to call themselves Lebanese members of Al-Ashaer or Al-Arabiya particularly, because the term Badu carries negative meaning in Lebanon and makes members of the community discriminated against".He noted that sometimes a person who belongs to the Bedouin community can't be distinguished from someone who doesn't, but that there continues to be discrimination against the group.
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