In this file photo, Makkah governor Prince Khalid Al Faisal distributes Iqamas for the Burmese during a ceremony in Makkah. (AN photo by Ahmed Hashad)
Four million Burmese residents in the Kingdom are now entitled to obtain an ‘iqama,’ turning many of their dreams of long-term residence and stability in the Kingdom into a reality.
Sheikh of the Burmese community in Makkah, Abu Alshamaa Abdulmajeed, said a large number of Burmese citizens have been living in the Kingdom for more than 70 years, arriving here as a result of injustice and torture against Muslims at the hands of their former governments and various extremist groups.
The sheikh praised the role of the Saudi government in assisting the Burmese community and supporting them as they resettled in the Kingdom. He said that the recent status correction decision issued by Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, which calls for the granting of free Iqamas to members of the Burmese community, has now solved a plethora of logistical problems for many members of the community, and will serve to facilitate their freedom of movement and permanent residence.
“Additionally, due to this new government move, students who are studying in schools run by charitable organizations will now have the opportunity to study in public schools from the primary to secondary stages,” he added.
Abdulmajeed said, “The dream of returning to Burma has faded from the hearts of members of the community due to a lack of passports, especially as the Pakistani and Bangladeshi embassies have refused to grant them passports. The fear of prosecution and torture against Muslims also makes this dream impossible at this time.”
So far, 170,000 iqamas have been granted to Burmese.
Source: Arab News