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21 November, 2003

Unpopular population solutions

For all they whinge and fret about the increasing number of "spinsters" as UAE men marry foreign wives - while UAE women are banned from similar marriages - the endless insistence on mass breeding from a tiny gene pool is, unsurprisingly, having fairly horrific consequences.

"Speaking at a press conference, Dr Abdulrazzaq, also an Associate Professor at the Paediatrics Department of the FMHS, said the rate of consanguineous marriages among nationals has been as high as 51 per cent. The rate of major congenital abnormalities at birth is 22 in 1,000 live births. "This is an under-estimate as many are detected later."

The remedy is quite simple:

1. Ban cousin marriages, or at least campaign to reduce this practice (done nearly solely for reasons of greed and status - to keep wealth within families, not out of any genuine concern for finding young people a suitable partner)

2. Allow Emirati men and women the freedom to marry whomever they choose - they are after all individual beings with the rights to make their own decisions, not slaves

3. Expand the UAE breeding pool by giving residency to the thousands of people born here, often with no other passports, that spend their entire lives living and working here. Every person that has been born and educated in the UAE from 0-18 should be at least offered citizenship here, perhaps with the proviso of Arabic proficiency tests and oath-swearing to the relevant Sheikh



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