Sharjah: An unemployed Arab man says he feels helpless and is facing a miserable Ramadan as he, his wife and newborn son are unable to return to their home country.
The couple, Reem and Ramzi, both illegal residents, are unable to get a birth certificate for their baby boy, Yousuf, and consequently a passport for him as they cannot pay the government hospital’s Dh10,000 bill.
The couple have been staying illegally in the country since Ramzi lost his job earlier this year.
Reem told Gulf News she was four months pregnant when her husband lost his job. Her husband had tried to send her home but her passport was with their landlord as they had not paid the rent.
“At that time we had to pay Dh6,000 for the rent and my husband who lost his job had no money so the landlord kept my passport because my husband’s passport was with his company,” she said.
Reem said they borrowed money from various people to pay the rent and finally this month they managed to pay the rent and get her passport back.
“After my husband had his residency visa cancelled he also cancelled mine and I became an illegal resident,” she said.
She said her baby, Yousuf, was born in Al Qasimi Hospital in May. As she was an illegal resident she did not have a health card.
“We have to pay the hospital Dh10,000 for my delivery in the hospital, which we cannot afford,” she said.
It would have cost Dh5,000 if Reem had had her health card.
“I want to go back to my family with my baby, whom I cannot even breastfeed because I have no money to even feed myself,” she said.
“I’m suffering here and I really did not want to give birth to my baby here because I know it is very costly, but what can I do if I’m forced to give birth in the UAE.”
Ramzi said that he has been living here for the past five years.
“I used to earn a little money from my work, then the owner of the company decided to cut expenses so he terminated some of the workers, including me,” he said. “I managed to pay the hospital Dh2,000 but I cannot afford the rest.
“I’m illegal and not working and my wife too and it is impossible to afford such an amount of money. I’m helpless and I have no clue what to do, I do not know what to do during Ramadan because I cannot feed my family.”
He said he just wants to go back home with his wife and baby.
According to an official from Al Qasimi Hospital the family needs to pay the full amount owed to be issued a birth certificate for their baby.
“These are our rules and the law and the delivery cost should be paid in full,” said the official.
The Arab family said that they are eager to go back to Tunisia, their home country.