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Of beggars and prostitutes

Muna Al-Fuzai

Muna Al-Fuzai

One of the most disturbing phenomena in Kuwait is the increasing number of female beggars on the streets during the holy month of Ramadan, especially in the markets and mosques. These women are not always as poor and miserable as they seem. Many of them are hucksters who come to Kuwait on visit visas during the holy month in order to collect bountiful charity. Some are not even beggars but prostitutes in disguise and they know exactly what they want and where they can catch their prey: men. All they want is money and are willing to trade their bodies for it.

Recently, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior Suleiman Al-Fahad addressed this subject and warned that begging is a crime in Kuwait.

Vowing to immediately deport any man or woman who is caught begging, he noted that this phenomena constitute a crime against society and harms the appearance and spiritually faithful, especially in Ramadan. He also called for the cooperation of citizens and expats to report any case of begging by calling the police on #112.

I agree that begging is despicable and unacceptable as a profession - either legally or religiously. There are plenty of charitable organizations in Kuwait - not to mention that every mosque will provide iftar meals for fasters.

Beggars, however, are often just con artists and prostitutes and so will never dare to go to these places and risk being caught. You can easily notice that the number of these abaya-covered ladies with two or three kids in hand increase in Ramadan because they know that many people would tend to give them money as an act of charity and kindness.

People are generous and in Ramadan many will give out of pity without even considering the true nature of the beggars. Not all of them are even women! Sometimes men use the abaya as a disguise to sit and beg.

I know some of you may think this is an exaggeration but the truth of the matter is that some people have taken to begging as a profession and what better time than Ramadan to practice their business? Those female beggars enter the country with a visit visa and use this permit to collect as much money as they can until their time is over or they get arrested by the police and sent back home.

What they do is illegal and dangerous. It is impossible to find out who’s who from their eyes ... beside you would not even know if this person even has a bomb hidden within the folds of their gown. Isn’t that what happened recently in Saudi Arabia when a suicide bomber disguised as a woman in black entered a mosque? The bomb went off leaving behind many dead and injured!!! Due to the current security situation in the region everyone must be very careful dealing with such people because you would not be able to identify them.

The Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Social Affairs is cracking down on begging in Kuwait. The sponsor who helped the beggar obtain a visit visa will also be held accountable, whether the sponsor was a person or a company or a hotel. So if anyone finds themselves accosted by beggars, be careful and call the police and they will know what to do.

Happy Ramadan!

By Muna Al-Fuzai

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This article was published on 18/06/2015