The Beggar and the Shawarma …

I have blogged about this subject before … and since I have come across the people that I described many times again … can it be possible that these guys have allocated areas where they solicit? They have some kind of higher committee that allocates them to specific areas and makes sure that they don’t compete … a territory for everyone … in Beggar HQ or BHQ there would be a wall with a map of all the active locations and the Beggars or Bs that are on shift and on location … targets would have to be set for each location and time slot … kids would have higher targets as they would naturally be able to collect more … and the more you bring in the more you can take home with you …

I still remember that video that went around of these Bs in Kuwait that would go to work in their Lexus … men would dress up as women and beg at the souq … and when the shift is over they would walk to their top model luxury car and drive home … what a life … a life of cheating and lies… or is it smart?

Many of us give to those who ask for money, out of being good people, out of wanting to help others, and out of our constant strive to be good human beings and give back to society … we are Wal Hamdulilah much more fortunate than many and we have an obligation to give back … but where does one draw the line? How can we differentiate between the con Bs and the real Bs that really need it? This joke is probably the best way to describe the situation:

Ahmed and Hamid are both beggars at several motorway services in England.
Ahmed drives a Mercedes, lives in a mortgage free house and has a lot of money to spend. Hamid only brings in 2 to 3 pounds a day. Hamid asks Ahmed how he manages to bring home a suitcase full of £10 notes every day. Ahmed says, “Look at your sign. It says, “I have no work, a wife and six kids to support.” Britons who see that do not feel as if they have
accomplished anything by giving you money. You will still have no job and a large family. Now look at my sign.” So Hamid looks up and Ahmed’s sign reads:

“I only need another £10 to move back to Pakistan”

More Bs are springing up and they are becoming more crafty and demanding … this is the truth … very few of those who as for money are among the unfortunate … most of these people are not worthy of our generosity and we must be very careful and very selective on who to give our money to … we might give with the best intentions … but must make sure that what we give doesn’t go into the wring hands … I hope that thu this post we can come up with a screening process that can benefit all of us … I am not sure how many people still read my blog but hopefully we can come to define 5 questions that help us decide whether to give or not to give .. which is the real question …

I want to share two stories that will help:

Story 1: A friend, lets call him Sneagol, has recently managed to get own parking space at the building that he works… he also managed to get his job title labeled in front of the parking space … since then he has been attracting Bs… they come up to his office ask for him and on three occasions play the following routine:

Bs: Do you remember me?          (ma tit-thakarni?)

Sl: I am sorry, but I don’t           (at-thakarak min wain?)

Bs: We met at the airport             (min el ma6aar)

Sl: really?                                   (ay ma6aar?)

Bs: Yes, don’t you remember?     (ma tit-thakarni?)

Sl: No… when did we meet          (ma at-thakar ya5y )

Bs: Don’t you go to the airport?   (inta .. ma troo7 elma6aar?)

Sl: you remember me?               (inta tit-thakarni?)

Bs: from the airport, yes?           (ma tit-thakarni?)

Sl: What do you want?                (roo7 ya sheik)

Bs: can you spare 200?               (mi7tag 200 rial)

200 RIALS!!! Ask for 5 or 10 … when he gave him 10 Rials the Bs got upset and asked for 50 at least … he was asked to leave .. this happened THREE TIMES !!

Story 2: while sitting at a local coffee shop with sheesha and tea, a kid shows up … sits on our table and starts asking for money …

OM: how much have managed to collect today …       (kam jama3t elyoum?)

KBs: Five Rials so far … five more and I can go home ( 5 ba8i 5)

OM: your target is 10 Rials a day                               (lazim 10 fil youm?)

KBs: Give me 5, no?                                                (3a6eeni 5 la.. yalla la)

OM: I’ll give you a shawarma                                    (mashi filoos,tuba shawarma?)

KBs: ok give it                                                         ( aiwa 3a6eeni)

OM: Here take it ..                                                   (n’dok)

He goes takes and goes around .. he comes back two minutes later .. and offers to give back the shawarma he had opened ..

KBs: 7alal 3alaik .. ma areed elshawarma

That’s when I lost it …

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