Police arrest young man for cross dressing to beg

October 22, 2013

The young man with his disguise in police custody – Sabq

Security authorities in Saudi Arabia have arrested a young man disguised as a woman and begging near traffic lights.

The police in the city of Kharj, 80 kilometres south of the capital Riyadh, were intrigued by the movements of the beggar and upon verifying his papers discovered that he was a young man posing as a woman to win the sympathy of drivers and receive money from them.

He was referred to the relevant authorities to look into his case, local news site Sabq reported on Tuesday.

Resorting to cross-dressing to be able to beg is a trick often used by men in the Gulf countries to boost their chances of receiving money from people who tend to sympathise more with women seemingly in need.

In 2012, police in Kuwait City arrested an expatriate who disguised himself as a woman to beg for money.

The man who fooled people in the upscale Salmiya neighbourhood in Kuwait City was arrested after a woman who gave him money felt there was something wrong with the begging “woman”.

Her husband alerted the police who rushed to the place and arrested the beggar who confessed to receiving up to 25 dinars (Dh324.80) a day.

In Saudi Arabia, a man begged for five months as a woman before his disguise was uncovered.

The man, wearing an abaya — the traditional coverall worn by women in the Gulf — told police that he earned up to 200 riyals (Dh195.82) on a regular day and that his income increased on Fridays as a larger number of devout Muslims head to mosques.



About the author

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

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