Thursday, July 12, 2007

Just in case... Begging

With the recent passing of the law by GAM that bans beggars and begging from areas of Amman, which I find absolutely reprehensible since they are not exactly providing a realistic alternative.
The apathetic attitude they carry on that the majority of beggars are already rich and are exploiting the kindness of people is a joke, yes there are exceptions but the majority of them are really in need of a source of income.

What baffles me even more is the fact that this spreads to the "guerrilla shops" that open up around mosques, these people are doing a legitimate thing since they are not provided with a vibrant farmer's market they created their own. I am not sure if they were included or not but they disappeared from infront of the mosque next to my home.

Even though I am against the passing of the law but I have enough trust in their incompetence to not be able to enforce it effectively.

So just in case I fall into that situation myself, here are a few ideas that occured to me on how I would show my "micro entrepreneurialship":
  • carry a bag, and a broom going around cleaning the streets and any of the offices or shops and do it with out verbally asking for money. Having a sign on my back that states my purpose and that makes it fall under donations and not begging (a guy in Canada does that and thats where I got the idea)
  • Stand near crowded areas and guide people to the closest parking spot. (also with a sign to avoid run-ins with the law, and to allow people to identify your use and need)
These two are the things that occur to me readily that require the smallest skill set, doesn't involve hassling people for money, and actually benefit the society :D
Of course street performers are about as colorful a cultural icona as can be and they do fall under that class, the idea is that not all begging is "2ate3 eedo 2o bish7ad 3aleyha (he cuts his hand and begs)". Begging is a cultural reflection of society, how well you treat the "untouchables" of your society is a reflection of how civil your society is.

Would love to add any suggestions anyone might have


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  • Bambam, this is one I agree with you on (yay! another one!), and I have been wanting to post about it since Observer did. Hopefully tomorrow.

    By Blogger kinzi, At 12/7/07 20:27  

  • hehe kinzi keeping a tally, waiting to read ur take on it

    By Blogger No_Angel, At 14/7/07 21:21  

  • no_angel, actually I find it silly how they justify this campaign by saying that beggars are making big money! As you said, maybe very few do, but most who beg seem to be in a real need for money!

    By Blogger The Observer, At 15/7/07 11:22  

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