The Art of Beggars Swindling Kind Qatari Residents
Begging in public places, which is illegal in Qatar, is rapidly becoming a common phenomenon on major streets in Doha.
The number of individuals seeking alms on major roads, especially at traffic signals where motorists always have to wait, is increasing day by day.
Lately, this reporter has spotted a number of male beggars, including a very old man, at different locations along the C-Ring Road and at different time, seeking alms from motorists.
One is always seen soliciting money from the motorists around the Muntazah signal by showing his “almost healed wounds” and clutching a plastic bag with the emblem of a popular clinic.
Another elderly man, usually spotted at the New Salata signal, simply begs for money to buy food, as he always points to his mouth while asking for help.
Another male beggar has been seen at the Hamad Medical Corp’s signal wearing a freshly made eye pad and bandage around some of his fingers and also carrying an HMC medication bag, obviously to convince people that he is sick and truly in need of help.
Other beggars, including women, have been noticed around residences and parking lots of shops in Najma and Mansoura areas. Some are even bold enough to stand near a big mosque close to Souq Haraj to narrate their sob stories to worshippers and passers-by patient enough to listen.
Yesterday, an elderly man was seen publicly begging for alms, while waving his cleft fingers to shoppers at one of the popular shopping malls in Mansura area.
According to reports, there are now different kinds of beggars, who are inventing all sort of tactics to swindle residents.
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.
Other categories are those who 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.
Some have even been spotted begging at shopping centres to help them pay for an item, which could range from a child’s sandals to almost anything.
However, the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ministry of Interior had during last Ramadan teamed up with the Mosques and Propagation Department of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in a campaign aimed at countering the uncivilised acts near mosques and other localities.
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.
The CID has assigned telephone numbers 44823455, 44714222, 44714220 that residents can call to report a case of begging in their area.