Sunday, September 7, 2008


Firstly, I would like to nominate myself for an award for best blog post title ever.

That accomplished, does anyone else notice that Door-to door begging increases by a factor of 1,000 during Ramadhan? I suspect that the beggars are mostly a hoax, or some sort of begging cartel that come into town during Ramadhan. Otherwise I would expect to have them ringing my bell year round, even if only occasionally.

But I feel really conflicted about turning them away empty handed. I try (though I often fail) to see the best in people, and to imagine myself in thier shoes. Things in my life would have to get Very, Very, Very dire before I could even imagine resorting to begging. That said, I would do absolutley anything, anything, anything, to keep food on the table for my daughter.

So it kills me a little bit to turn them away because what if one out of every ten is the real thing? What if that guy, or this woman really is trying to feed hungry children?

This year, finally, we have a solution. It's the Ramadhan-Ding-Dong-Care-Bomb. It's a box full of Food! It has:
  • One kilo of Basmati rice
  • One litre tetra pack milk
  • One brick of dried apricots
  • One small jar Kraft Cheese spread
  • One kilo frozen chicken
  • One sachet chicken stock
  • One can Hummous
  • 500 g. Sugar
  • Five Tea bags

It's a three rial value, and we are ready and armed to give these away to anyone who comes by begging, provided that they don't mind hauling it home. I figure the fakes are unlikely to want to haul the food around but someone truly needy would be able to prepare a small meal for thier family.

Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately?) we have yet to receive any beggars this year. I'll let you know how it goes when we do get one.

Stone took a picture of the Care Bomb, but I'll have to post it later because it's still on his phone.


Omanymous said...

Is the Ding Dong you refer to in your post the sound of the door bell ?

Kay said...

Ramdhan 2006 in our old neighborhood of alkhuwair 25 we had lots of beggars ringing the door, once someone rang the doorbell, by the time someone made it downstairs to open the door. Another neighbor down the road had called in the cops and they came to pick him up.

Angry In Oman said...

No beggers so far this month for me, though there was a few a couple of months ago.

Good for you for doing food. I used to carry granola bars in my purse in Toronto. Sometimes, even the crack heads would take em. It made me feel good.

Helping people in a more positive way is good.

Suburban said...

Mr. Omanymous, You are correct! Ding-dong is the international sound for Dorbell. Though it's even funnier now that I think of it the other way around.

Kay, Nice of you to stop By Sweetie! I will email you after Ramadhan when I finally get my Sh*t together!

AIO- I love the idea of granola bars for Crackheads. Bravo to you.

yuseff said...

ur idea is GENIUS! solves so many problems!
My parents always tell me that I should never give money to beggars 'cause people who stoop so low can't possibly go back even if they had enough money + they're always fakes!

I believed the fake fact when one woman who came begging to me in London (since im Arab), So i gave her all the coins in my pockets - The next day I saw her walking out of a Gucci shop in Oxford street, and wore her haircover(lahaf) again and started begging people as if nothing happened!

Undercover Dragon said...


Good luck with that. I suspect they'll get pissed off and demand money ('cos I tend to think its a scam), but at least then you'll have an iron clad reason to yell back!

And officially it is illegal to ring people's door bells and beg.

I tend to just look fierce and tell them I don't give money to anybody at my door (well, except the cute little kids all scrubbed up in super-white dishdashas at Eid. But the scruffy teenagers hanging around the supermarkets get zip).

Kay said...

MC - the cute little kids in eid arent begging for money, they want a 'Eidya' candy money if you want something like a Halloween. One Eid during our visit we stoped to get gas and one of those scruffy teenagers was being extra persistent and my mom decides she is going to make him wait a bit before she gives him the Eidya, only for him to open the car door and demand the money. BAD BAD ideaa KID. I think after the verbal lashing my mother gave him he wanted to give her a eidya so she can go away.

Amber said...

brilliant idea! In texas we put together what we called a 'helping the homeless" package. Kids got in on the action and everything. It was a ziplock bag with a bottle of water, some peanut butter crackers, granola bar, wet wipes, washcloth, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste and some small candies. Some of them I put a dollar in and others a gift certificate to mcdonalds. I felt the same as you...I mean how could I judge what was real and what wasn't? Many times they were taken with gratitude. Only once did a guy get upset. I simply rolled up the window and drove away. I haven't had anyone knock on my door yet, but I was at someone's house and it happend. 7 ladies all in really nice black abayas ( rhinestones included! ) shoved in the gate at once and pushed two tiny babies to the front. I'm pretty sure they had more money than me...anyway, none of us had any money on us for real. It was sad...I don't think they believed us and they kept saying "bbut the babies!" We didn't think to ask if they wanted food or something time.