“Do not let the right hand know what the left hand is doing” Jesus

I have never really been a giver. Never done charity before and never helped in easing the pain of anyone in poverty. Whenever a beggar approaches me on street or a traffic light, I put a cold expression on my face and say ‘allah ya3teek’ (May God give you) and then wait for him to move away. It always made me feel guilty but I used to rationalize it the way our government does, and that this beggar is most probably have good money and that he finds begging as an easy way to make some more rather than working. In addition to that, I also believe that I have to take care of myself in order to be able of taking care of others. I am not a wealthy person and the notion of Jesus and the widow who gave from her needs rather than her surplus didn’t quite work for me. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the moral of it and do cherish those who gave more than they can. But those are very rare people. They are real saints whom I do admire and wish that one day I would have the strength to do the same. Meanwhile I am aware of my humanly traits and needs that are a combination of selfishness and laziness and which I am neither proud nor ashamed of.

Recently, I have this social activism notion growing inside me. Maybe it has mostly to do with blogging and social networking. And while social freedom, sexual liberation, gender equality and tolerance towards the others have been my major concerns, I was hoping for a chance to help in others attempt of fighting poverty or helping any unfortunate individual. Then the Back to School campaign caught my eyes at Naseem’s blog. It was an easy call, just publicize it and you would be doing a good share. Re-blog it on my blog would be good enough. But I felt like doing more, and I had this idea of collecting money from people who work with me. I sent an email to all the staff and asked my friend to do the same at his company. I didn’t get much money yet, but we have collected some and in which we would give to Sara from the action committee (079-5154498).

A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t talk about a good thing I have done. I guess it has more to do with me being shy than saving my credit to my after life as someone who gave me some donations asked explicitly not to mention her donation so that she doesn’t lose her after life reward. I have always believed that it is better to give without expecting anything in return, even if it is spiritual. But that is not entirely true for myself, because even though I don’t expect an after life reward, I do enjoy the instance self reward of a greater self esteem and goodness. Helping others is not 100% an altruistic behavior. Feeling good in return would be a good enough drive and an excellent compensation.

So for me, it is okay to state out that you have done a good thing as an acknowledgment and encouragement for oneself and others, but it would be entirely a different thing when you advertise your charity for a fake pride and prestige like what we can see on the walls of the Christian Churches in Jordan these days.


  1. social activism – and what I’d like to see more of: online activism – always takes one initial step. it’s usually in the form of fulfilling that desire or need you talked about. you find a way to do it and suddenly you’re rolling. the online world has made that a bit easier and even better. an idea can spread at the speed of light: literally. you’re right, it’s not completely altruistic, and i think it’s not meant to be. at the heart of it all, its about connecting with people on a human level: fulfilling the single notion that we are all equal in some way or another. that connection is something we miss when we’re cocooned in our respective environments. good luck on your journey!


  2. Nas, You are right. We are blessed to have the net. And it is great to connect with people on that level. Thanks for your own work on that matter. Keep it up man..


  3. “If you want to feed a man for a day, give him a fish. If you want to feed a man everyday, teach him how to fish!”“Random” acts of charity is damaging to the social construction, because it encourages beggars.On the other hand, giving charity to charity organizations is a sound idea, especially when those organizations help the less fortunate find jobs, and become productive one way or the other.


  4. DV, I agree with that saying. It is indeed better to teach a man how to fish rather than giving him one. But I also believe that it is better to give him a fish to eat than stand and watch him starving 🙂“Random” acts of charity is damaging to the social construction, because it encourages beggars.”I guess it depends on the tyoe of charity and where it is directed.


  5. There are many ways to help the poor and become a givver, and its not by helping the beggars at the traffic lights. There are organizations such as Teqiyat um Ali and another organization in Jbala Nadeef that accepts all kids of donations.


  6. i have to agree with observer, watching someone starve is difficult. this is a (barely) developing country where so many people are following through the cracks. there’s a lot of unemployment and its not because people are spoiled or would rather beg. we’re not talking about giving change to street beggars. we’re talking about under-privileged communities that are struggling to make ends meet, even with several people in the same family being employed. the mathematics and the odds are both against them.


  7. “I guess it depends on the tyoe of charity and where it is directed.” – I am talking about giving money to beggars. As opposed to giving money to specialized organizations.


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