Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a wonderfully rich country in the world. The state is also a welfare state that looks forward to the betterment of the citizens. God knows the reason but along with all these positive signs, a lot of beggars are seen at the entrances and exits of supermarkets, at grocery stores and at the intersections of streets.
Saudi society is an Islamic society and the state authorities decide to help the citizens to live their lives in accordance with the teachings of Islam. Islam strongly condemns begging as it is disgraceful for the humans and on the other hand Islam encourages the wealthy people to help those who are short of fiscal resources.
It may be the urge of human beings to help the poor people because of which many foreigners are accustomed to begging as a highly profitable business. It is a fact that begging is a well arranged and engineered job.
Begging because of need is no doubt a problem but the more serious issue is that class of beggars who are doing it in a more professional way. They don’t roam in sun, don’t stand at traffic signals or at the malls, they don’t sit on the roadside pavements. Beggars of this class drive expensive cars and roam with their families and hunt the prey.
It seems that their target is expatriates because this class of beggars tries to speak English. I personally met a few representatives of this class. One of them came across when I was at the parking space of Jarir Books Store at Khobar. He slowed down his US model vehicle and showed the intention to talk to me.
Seeing his vehicle and his son sitting with him I thought he is going to ask me about some directions of his desired place. When he talked to me he proved me wrong as he was not asking for any directions rather he asked for money. He told me that he is coming back from Bahrain and is on the way to Qatif, he has lost his money on the way and now he needs some money to get the fuel and to feed his son.
Another encounter was at another super mall at Dammam. He was a Saudi young fellow having a religious, mutawa-like appearance. He approached my car and he was in a big SUV vehicle, children and a few women having abaya accompanied him.
Soon after casual pleasantries he said that he was coming back from the Holy City of Makkah, his vehicle broke down in the way and he had to spend all the money he had with him to pay for repair costs. While lifting his hands towards heavens and praying for me he asked that he needs money to take his family back to home.
I gave him some money and headed towards my car, hearing his voice behind me reciting supplications. This situation of beggary brings a bad name to the country. State authorities are striving hard for eliminating this curse. A series of programs are announced for the welfare of the citizens.
These welfare programs include a scheme of loan for purposes of the housing to the deserving applicants and unemployment insurance for unemployed people. Now the society shall play its role to eliminate this curse from the country.