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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Report: Despite zero-tolerance policy, panhandling continues to thrive in Qatar


The “uncivilized” act of soliciting residents for money is becoming a growing problem in Qatar, one report asserts.

Panhandling has been especially rampant in the Mansoura area and on C-Ring Road, where men and women alike relay sad stories and ask for money for food, medicine or to pay for children’s items, the Gulf Times reports.

Qatar has long held a zero-tolerance policy against begging, which is illegal here.

The  Criminal Investigation Department has gone as far as encouraging residents to call a special hotline to report panhandlers.

There are two distinct types of beggars, Gulf Times reports:

In one category are those who might have entered Qatar on a visit visa obtained on the basis of residence permits of other Gulf countries, and resorted to begging as a means of survival because they are unable to find appropriate work…

(Others) use unscrupulous means to dupe residents with tall tales of how they have been stranded, husband or wife and even children being seriously ill, and of how they ran out of fuel needed to travel back to a neighbouring country where they live…

There are various charitable organisations in Qatar that would never turn away the needy as officials in charge have reiterated on various occasions, and the practice of begging is totally rejected by the whole society as uncivilised and that it reflects a false and negative image.

Most municipalities in the US also encourage residents to donate to charities instead of giving money to panhandlers.

But they’re not usually referred to with such great disdain by local media, as they are here.


Credit: Photo by Sarbjit Kaur

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