Poor on poor crime: tracking a fake beggar in Sharjah
It is illegal to beg in the UAE, but that law is usually not enforced outside of mosques. (Basil D Soufi/Wikimedia Commons)
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But alms-seekers operating clandestinely around King Faisal Mosque dispute the claim. “He routinely snatches our earnings. At times he gets violent. Now I don’t stay back long after Friday prayers,” said a female beggar, who identified herself as Aamna.
XPRESS had been tracking the beggar after being tipped off by mosque-goers in Al Majaz. “He exploits the sentiments of people by pleading for help, but we have seen him coming him in a cab, which is quite unlike a beggar. He protects his territory fiercely and doesn’t let anyone else beg here, ” said Indian expat Faiz, 32.
Mosque-goer Javed Ismail said the man had been begging for years.
“I pitied him and often gave him Dh10-Dh15, but I stopped when I saw him enjoying shisha at a fancy restaurant the other day,” Ismail added.
Further investigation led us to the man’s house -- a seventh floor Dh40,000 2BHK apartment in Sharjah’s Al Qasimya area, not far from King Faisal Mosque.
Of course, he doesn’t beg there as he could be easily recognised. For now snatching other beggars’ earnings seems to be working just fine.