It was a quiet afternoon at work. The projects where running on schedule, and things where calm. During these slow afternoons, I usually go and sit in the Chairman's office to chat about things in general.

The Chairman was a kind older man, his manangement style was hands off. He never gave orders, only advice and general encouragements. Anyone could walk in the Chairman's office to talk, complain or just to say hi.

We where drinking our tea stikanas and in walked a young man. The young man was dressed in full Kuwaiti attire with a clean pressed dishdasha, impeccable ghutra and new iqal. He had a sad desperate look on his face. After saying his Salam, he introduced himself, stood besides the Chairman's desk and produced a folded piece of paper. The chairman unfolded the paper and read it quietely, then passed the paper to me.

The paper was typewritten in Arabic, the contents where:

Dear Sir,

My name is XXXXX Al XXXXX,

I was born in Kuwait and am 25 years old, my fathere died when I was 15. He was an officer in the Kuwait Army and we have been living on his meager retirement pay. I am out of work and have taken numerous short term jobs, I am also taking afternoon classes to better myself. I am supporting my mother and 4 younger sisters. We have no nationality (bidoon). I want to get married and need help.

I thank you for your kindness and would appreciate any little assistance you can offer me.

The Chairman was quiet, he opened his side drawer and pulled out his personal check book. The Chairman wrote him a 500 KD check and directed him to finance to encash it.

A week after this incident, it was another quiet afternoon. A new young man walked into the Chairman's office, similar dress, sad face and folded letter. The Chairman took the letter, read it. The letter had word for word the same heart breaking story as last week's except for a different name. The Chairman bluntly told the young man, "Your brother came last week, and I already gave him". The young man walked out, embarassed that his scam was discovered.


  1. OMG. You would think that they would at least try to change their letter!!!

    I once had a guy roll up in my office in a dirty dishdasha demanding some money. He wasn't nice and somber about it; he screamed and roared and freaked the hell out of me. I gave him 5 kd and ran out of my own office!

    Why don't these people go to bait il zakat?

  2. CD: The simple answer to your question is that these guys are profesional crooks with an act to extract your money, if they ever went to bait al zakat, their situation would be studied and they would be exposed.

  3. I was once ambushed by two beggars who simultaneously appeared on both sides of my car as I parked near the shopping centre. They were shaggy looking, sporting orange beards, dirty clothes and plenty of attitude! They demanded I give them money. I was terrified! I locked the doors from inside immediately, and was thinking of driving off when I said - hey, they will NOT intimidate me! I opened the window just a little, grabbed my mobile and shouted: I am calling the POLICE now! I think "police" word made its effect (begging is illegal in Qatar), and they ran away immediately. Whew. I walked into the store and told the security guy about the incident. He said I wasn't the only one harrassed, apparently this duo was on a begging spree, and some people actually gave them money.