GAM campaign on beggars: Do we have a right to beg?

She has always managed to make an impact on my heart, uneasy feeling of selfishness accompanied by a sense of guilt and imbarassement of being helpless in helping her. With her innocent beautiful smile, she approaches me at the traffic light and knocks on my car window trying to sell me a red rose in an attempt to catch my sympathy and gave her money. At other times, she approaches me in Ziqaq Al Madaq while having a good time smoking my shisha and drop the red rose on my lap so that to force me to give her money.

I never budge, always with the same attitude, I raise my hand for her to go, or say thanks, give her back the rose, and turn my head so that she leaves!

This little girl is one of many beggars that Great Amman Municipality is targeting in its new campaign to make Amman a beggar free city. According to the news, they are going to rehabilate some beggars and provide them with a decent jobs, others would end up in jail and pay taxes for their beggings. Obviously, and according to the GAM, some beggars are not poor. They beg to get more money and save them in their bank account. I have no idea how much credibility is there behind such stories as I never imagine myself begging for the sake of making more money for an ego and self respect issue, and can’t imagine others begging for money and endure such humilation unless they are in a great need for it.

While it does come as a relief for me not having to go through the guilt feelings of not helping anyone asking for money in the streets, especially with this news of wealthy beggars, and while I understand the benefit of such move by the GAM for the benefit of the city especially in the summer touristic season, I do still feel a kind of selfishness for being relieved for not having to endure such scenese again.

From another perspective, and with the impact of Devil’s Mind on me through discussion freedom and rights of people in other issues, I found myself thinking of the right on individual to ask for many.

Each one of us have a right to beg. I want to have this option if life failed me where I ended parallized in the streets with no way to have food except by begging.

It does make a difference when you put yourself in others shoes, but you always come back to yourself, and say that a bit of selfishness doesn’t hurt, and wish that life never fails you in the future.


  1. Interesting.Guilt is a powerful thing when not controlled.In KSA, when I stayed there, it was common for people to chop off their limbs and to earn extra sympathy and cash.Here in the UAE there is a large trend of people “lost” on their way to Oman and “running out of money to buy fuel”. So they scavenge you in the parking lots and give you their ridiculous long detailed journey.Religiously speaking, 3endak el sha77ad, el miskeen, el fa2eer and ebn el sabeel.Your best bet is to go to a recognized charity organization and donate there. You’ve done your job – what they do to the money is between their conscience and their greed.


  2. Yes, its would be very problematic to ban people from getting into the streets asking passer by’s. People should learn that some people use sympathy as a profession, and stop giving away money for free.Really, we go to universities to learn, and then go to work to make some money. Why should someone who is “sitting there doing nothing” get more money than I do?!


  3. I really liked your post… good job…Anyway, I think We really don’t know what others are going through, so we can’t judge on every beggar…so for me, before asking “do we have the right to beg”, we should ask “does our society give us the necessary resources that can help us fight life back with dignity, if we hit the bottom”!!! The problem isn’t the phenomena itself, it is much deeper… It’s about the low self esteem some people have, and it’s also about how desperate sometimes they are. This is a serious physiological issue…And trust me, it will have its bad effects rooted in the future…Cheers 🙂


  4. What do you expect from a country..I don’t want to say it but you get my point..The only thing that kills me is that “officials” can get some sleep knowing that some jordanians can’t find food to eat..We have know families that lived on tea and dry bread for months and they don’t EVER beg, they have more respect and honor than most of our corrupt officials…No more for me to say..Google some names and you will know what I mean..


  5. Kj, eww, chop off their limbs for extra money! I can’t comprehend how would a sane person do that!It isn’t about my safe bet. It is about what makes people beg and how it makes us feel helpless in helping them.DV, I didn’t understand where you stand here, shall we ban begging or not? Fantasia, I am happy you liked my post, thanks 🙂You put it in a good way. It is more about how society fails those people. We can’t really judge per person and can’t really help by giving small amount of money in the street. Only the government can try better solutions to help those in need. Hope this campaign can be effective in helping many.Mohannad, I don’t think that we should put much blame on the country officials. Sure each one has his responsibility, but the problem of poverty has never been solved in any country. There is no magical solution for it. Officials just try to do their best. We need them to sleep in order to focus on their work :).


  6. We can NOT ban people from sitting in the streets looking pathetic.But people should start to think before they give away money. They have worked hard to get their money, they worked hard to prove to their boss that they deserve the amount of money they are getting.So before we give away money, we have to ask ourselves, what has that guy done to deserve this amount of money?!


  7. Arab Observer,I just checked your blog and I can’t describe how thrilled I am about it. You have a very wide perspective which unfortunately is very unlikely in our precious Arab world. And your posts deal with the most sensitive parts of the problem we [Arabs] have become. I don’t think I need to write no more, you say pretty much everything that needs to be said. Keep up the good work.


  8. DM, sure we can’t ban people from sitting in the street and look pathetic, and sure people should take care of the money they earn with hard work, but one of the qualities of human beings is compassion. Some people take advantage of that in different ways. My point in addressing you is the idea of having a right to beg. If the government restricted begging, would it mean that it violates some of our freedom rights?Iraqi Atheist, welcome to my blog. I m glad you like it. I need more people to support my views :P. I m sad about what is happening in Iraq, hope you and your family are safe.


  9. <>“If the government restricted begging, would it mean that it violates some of our freedom rights?”<> – Yes, thats what I have been saying!! :SI don’t think a law that prohibits citizens from walking down the streets, or sitting in the street, can be a legitimate law.Can we restrict the streets to only handsome looking people?! Can we restrict the streets to only clean looking people?! Can we restrict the streets to only non-pathetic looking people?! The streets are public property, and anyone should be able to get on the streets at will!One point remains valid: If some children reported that they are being abused to beg, the authorities can in this case sentence their abuser, and provide for the children some shelter.


  10. when i comes to begging, well, i pray i never find myself in that situation, but i do feel like beggars should have the right to beg. if people want to give then give if not don’t give. i give when my heart tells me to give, if i don’t feel like giving i don’t. Back at home in the united states, my dad has a friend who is very wealthy and most of his money comes from begging all day, he drives a nice car and lives in a house most cannot afford, if you ask me it takes a lot of time and effort to spend your whole day asking for money and possibly getting cursed at or hurt. Like i like to say, TO EACH HIS OWN! 😀 marie


  11. DM, it isn’t about the looks. The restriction can be on people asking for money. Like for instant having to go to jail when someone prosecute you for asking for money when you were in a strong need for it.Marie, yes, to each his own. If some people can make themselves rich by begging, then good for them 🙂


  12. Hallo!Please respond. We are Arabs who now live in the bad USA. We lost everything. We need a rich Royal Arab to send us $20,000 US Dollars to get us back on our feet. Please kindly send funds payable to David Lee Todor PO BOX 2896 Grapevine, Texas 76099-2896 USA.God thanks you in advance.You are so kind…Bless you!!DAVID


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