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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Qatar residents instructed to refuse and report panhandlers

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The Ministry of Interior (MOI) has called on Qatar residents to say no to the increasing number of panhandlers standing outside of public places and “exploiting the spirit of charity” this Ramadan.

In a statement published on Facebook this week, the MOI said:

“Begging is a social evil that increases in the holy month of Ramadan where some stand in the front of masjid (mosques), shopping malls and highly populated streets exploiting the spirit of charity.”

It added that the illegal practice of “begging” gives the country a negative image, and allows those soliciting money to obtain it the “easy way” instead of acquiring a job that benefits the society and the nation.

Residents are instead being urged to donate their money to authorized charities to ensure the money goes to those who really need it.

Ramadan 2015 Charity Iftar
Ramadan 2015 Charity Iftar

This year, charities in Qatar have expanded their free iftar dinners and other services to meet increasing demand.

Mixed reaction

In a renewal of past campaigns, the MOI has also asked residents to report panhandlers via its hotlines, 234 7444 /3361 8627.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The call received mixed reactions on social media, with some praising the country’s efforts, while others criticized the crackdown as inhumane.

On Facebook, Zii Unlimit said that she’s seen many panhandlers asking for money in Qatar, despite appearing to be in perfect physical shape and thus capable of working.

She added that they “act” needy until they get the cash and count it.

”Great job Qatar – catch (all the) fake beggars,” she said.

However, Alaa Diab criticized the crackdown, saying:

“The irony, aren’t there many men in Qatar dying because of hard labor involving the World Cup with barely any food or water working in extreme hot temperatures? Fix all the problems first, then make these campaigns.”

Commenter Ali Khan added, “How can we say NO to this poor people? This is not humanity.”

And Malak Eguna said:

“There’s nothing wrong to give food or small amount because we don’t know what are the reasons maybe they lost their job and they can’t feed the family.”

The practice of panhandling is relatively rare in Qatar.

Some attribute this to the strict penalties meted out to those found begging, which under the country’s penal code could include jail time of up to one year, in addition to losing all the money obtained from soliciting strangers.

Thoughts?

32 COMMENTS

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Meh
Meh
6 years ago

Veiled lady in Lakeland – City Center Mall … you better hide.

Meh
Meh
6 years ago
Reply to  Meh

oh wait, she’s already hiding behind that veil…. smart, cunning panhandler.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago

How are they here without jobs? It is a failure of the labour system if begging is becoming a problem and instead of punishing the needy, dol should be investigating where their sponsor is. If he has no work, not allowed to transfer, no means to support himself, he should be sent home. Living Wage Doha 2022.

Myrddin
Myrddin
6 years ago

KSA – repeated ad nauseum.

Maybe the pan-handler is a chancer?

Maybe the pan-handler has fallen foul of the marvellous labour laws?

We don’t know, for sure?

Maybe the labour laws could be sorted out… Oh! was that Tinkerbell sprinkling “Fairy Dust” into my eyes?

Rane de Beer
Rane de Beer
6 years ago

There’s an old, thin gentleman who sits outside my apartment every afternoon. He never begs, but people, myself included, give him food, yet he, and the cats, still go through the trash cans. He’s from Iran, and has lived in Qatar for 57 years. But a few years ago he lost an eye in an accident at his construction site, and it seems he also has some brain damage. Is there any place here that would take care of an expat? His family returned to Iran a long time ago, and I think going back there is not a real option for him.

Tom
Tom
6 years ago
Reply to  Rane de Beer

When people who really need help ask others, there are no replies…sadly like to this comment. I dont live in Qatar. Someone who lives there, please help this man.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago

“It added that the illegal practice of “begging” gives the country a negative image”. I don’t think that its the begging doing that.

Posthaze
Posthaze
6 years ago

I was trying to give food to one of those people the other day and he told me cash only, lol, swag level 9000

Yummykarak
Yummykarak
6 years ago
Reply to  Posthaze

Yes, I remember one time when I gave money the individual told me it was not enough and to give more…

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Yummykarak

I had the same experience. I do get the feeling that it is mainly expats that are targeted by these people. Any thoughts?

brorick
brorick
6 years ago
Reply to  Yummykarak

same here, last time ill ever give money.

Clitoris
Clitoris
6 years ago
Reply to  Posthaze

Monetary is much better than food for them. Choosy beggars.

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago

It is against all logic that there are beggars in the “Richest Country in the World”. It is against all logic that expatriates are in Qatar without a job according to the current Labor Law and Immigration Law. The question is: who are they? Qataris can’t be poor, expatriates MUST have a job. And the answer is??

readabook000
readabook000
6 years ago

Some fly into the Gulf on tourist or visit visas from their home countries for a month, specifically to take advantage of the Ramadan begging season. An exposé a couple years back in Dubai found several of the arrested living in 5-star hotels and bringing in over 5,000 a day.

Rahma
Rahma
6 years ago

Everything needs to be regulated but … Is it Islamic? Our religion says to be kind to less fortunate people.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Rahma

Is slavery?

Rahma
Rahma
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Nop. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

You are not allowed to take Muslims as slaves only non Muslims but apparently it is a good thing to free a slave but it’s not compulsory

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Really ? It says that in the Koran…wow.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Yes, many times. Mohd himself was a slave owner and slave trader. Google slavery in the Koran if you want to know more. (My fav is permitting the slave owner to have s!x with his slaves!)

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Zii Unlimit said that she’s seen many panhandlers asking for money in Qatar, despite appearing to be in perfect physical shape and thus capable of working……perhaps they don’t have fled their employer due to abuse or have mental health problems Zii? Your compassion and kindness is overflowing!

Richard Sobey
Richard Sobey
6 years ago

This is becoming problematic in the UAE too.
It has in the past reported how the UAE becomes a hotspot for “begging tourism” during Ramadan. Beggars flock to the UAE from neighbouring countries like Iran, Pakistan and Oman on visit visas, hoping to cash in on the generosity of local residents.
Example:
Ali, a carpenter from Pakistan, said he has been flying to Abu Dhabi once every year around Ramadan for over four years.
“Year 2012 was my luckiest when I made almost Dh12,000,” Ali told XPRESS. In comparison, Ali’s investment was a pittance – around Dh600 on a visit visa and about Dh1,200 on a return flight ticket from Karachi. “What I make in a month by seeking alms is a bumper deal. It’s easy to figure that,” he said.

George Adaimi
George Adaimi
6 years ago

My personal opinion:

I would rather present my offerings to the needy directly rather than going through charities.
For the reason that half of my money would be paid to cover the organization’s expenses and employees’ salaries and half of it would go to help families and the needy…

Do your calculation

Wouldn’t it be better to give your money or offerings
directly to someone who really needs your help!!

brorick
brorick
6 years ago
Reply to  George Adaimi

I used to give money to those when i was in london but watched a documentary that put me off given to people all together, here im more open to give to people, i dont know why, maybe because there isnt any benefits unlike in the UK…but now i doubt i will give people money ( i sitll buy people food) but i get the impression that some of these beggers earn more money than me!

CeePeeEm
CeePeeEm
6 years ago

And of course whether or not Ramadan, we see the same “came from Oman, took this Rent a Car, no money to feed the children sitting in the car, no money to put petrol…”
What about these high profile panhandlers? How to curb this practice?

greylag
greylag
6 years ago

This is also an organised scam. We lock our office doors after hours even while working, as ladies and sometimes guys will suddenly appear at your office door asking for money. They ‘do’ the whole building. I have seen sometimes the ladies leave our building and hop in a waiting car with Saudi plates.

Siling Labuyo
Siling Labuyo
6 years ago

They’re more concerned about Qatar’s “image” than investigating the actual reasons why a person would go begging, and helping out people who are actually in need.

ManTruth
ManTruth
6 years ago
Reply to  Siling Labuyo

Not only about Qatar’s image, they are trying to remove any DISHONEST beggars, Ramadan is a season where there are people who tries to exploit people’s generosity, so people from low income countries travels to rich countries such as Qatar/UAE to ask for money, trust me, they can rake in up to 20000QR+ in a single month of Ramadan from begging.

If you want to help the needy, you should find the poor people who does not asks for money, these people are usually the ones who are cleaners in stores and streets or maybe even construction workers and these people are legit needy people. Don’t give money to those who beg because they are most likely to be those who tries to exploit you people.

Bingo
Bingo
6 years ago

Give them a small amount, if your heart permits.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

This is a great initiative but could have been said in a better way. Unfortunately there are people that exploit other’s generosity and could ruin it for people that really need it. Also people will start using children to gain more sympathy (we see this is some countries in an extreme manner).

We should be giving to local charities and they should help people in need. The problem is that there isn’t much awareness or transparency on what is done locally. Besides the Ramadan tents it seems most of the causes supported are abroad where the need is greater. If someone is in need here are there charities they can get help from? Also if charities ask for money from the public they should publish their financials and be subject to auditing. Does that happen?

If one wants to give to beggars perhaps try telling the beggar “i might have a temporary job/errand for you to do in exchange for money” and see how they react.

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
6 years ago

The sad part is that those really in need are often too proud to ask for help. I understand that Ramadan is a month for charitable acts and it’s great to see the positive outflow. It might also be useful for example to see an Article in DN on ALL the charities (Starting with People first), that DO exist here. That way, not everyone has to feel pressured to do everything into Ramadan and can help them throughout the year. A simple call to each one from the DN team should be able to take a measure of what they are trying to achieve and ways the public can help. I know the collectors exist in the malls, but I can imagine companies (or individuals) can achieve more practical contributions if the right channels existed. How many expats leaving for example, would be happy to donate items and goods that they don’t wish to take with them? A simple drop location for such items would be a start. Maybe it exists already. If not, it should be there for those that really are in need, whatever their religion, nationality or otherwise.

Win
Win
6 years ago

A few hundred rials is not going to make me starve. As long as i can afford it, I will hand out some change to someone in need. No one wants to begging. Qatar needs to figure out why there are panhandlers here.

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