Friday, March 12, 2010

Who is going to say no?

A woman just knocked on my door: she was holding a very tiny baby, and talking quietly in Arabic. The one thing I did understand was "money", so I gave her some. I can hear the baby gurgling and her ringing the doorbells of my neighbours as I type.

Anyone had this happen to them? Begging of any form, by the way, is illegal in Abu Dhabi. This marks the second time someone has asked me for cash, aside from children during Eid.


mapstew said...

Door to door begging used to be quite common here up to a few years ago. Traveller women with kids in tow, looking for money and baby clothes etc. I stopped giving after I found my donations scattered on the edge of the neighbourhood as the 'beggar' drove off in her 4x4! :¬)

A 2 Z said...

Hi Anne-Mare,

I never encountered any beggars while in Qatar. Mapstew puts into perspective...I was also reading your last post on trying to get an ambulance. I can relate, although, my problem is not critical. I tried to call for a taxi a couple of times and OMG what do you do when there is no address to give. Same thing when you are trying to find a place. It's always given in "approximates'....i.e. near so and so roundabout or after this building . I tried to explain this to friends who wanted to send me birthday cards. The could not believe that they do not have an address system.

Anonymous said...

I say no every time. You should as well.

It is illegal to beg in the UAE, however, the truly needy will produce a paper attested by a court (or red crescent) stating that their income is so and so much (very little) and that permission is granted to help, or that they are ill/unable to work for thir or that reason.

It's very simple, next time some woman with a baby shows up, ask them if they have a paper from the courts or the red crescent, if they say no, tell them you are going to call the cops. You will be surprised how fast they run.

And I kid you not, I have seen GANGS of women and their kids hit afluent parts of Abu Dhabi just to get into a BMW SUV and drive off to the next. NOT KIDDING.

The needy are documented as such, and con people are always after stpid people to take advantage of.

Dave said...

I have had several people approach me near my office in Dubai asking for money, but never at home.

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