Beggar disguised as woman arrested in Saudi Arabia

January 2, 2011
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The beggar showing his disguise - Al Yawm

An Arab man who disguised himself as a woman to beg for money in Saudi
Arabia has been arrested.

According to Saudi daily Al Yawm, the man fooled people who gave him money
generously for five months before a special police unit arrested him in Khobar,
in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia.

“The man always wore a long abaya, the traditional cover all worn by women in
the Gulf, and black sleeves. He walked with a limp and begged for money making
crying sounds,” the paper said on Sunday.

However, he was eventually arrested after a police patrol dedicated to dealing
with beggars wanted to check “her” papers. The beggar initially claimed he had
no documents, but under the police insistence, he admitted that he had been
begging for five months upon the advice of a friend to make quick money. He said
that he earned 150-200 Saudi Riyals on a regular day and that his income
increased on Friday.

The Eastern Province police said that they were able to arrest 75 beggars in
December, 44 Saudis and 31 foreigners.

Most of the arrested beggars were women and children, the police said.

Begging is a serious offence in Saudi Arabia, a country that regularly suffers
from an influx of beggars during the pilgrimage season and the holy month of
Ramadan.

A report in Saudi daily Arab News this year said that a Saudi child shelter,
located in Jeddah, has had 6,000 child beggars deported since its foundation
seven years ago.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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