Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I beg of you!

Last night I took some of the kids with me to the supermarket. I needed to bring the kids with because I planned on buying a lot and I wanted them to help me get all the groceries into the car. Of course taking the them meant having to buy all kinds of things that I think are unnecessary but they think are essential. So the cart was getting stuffed with Nutella and other things I normally pass by.

We made it to the cash register and I gave some money to the girls and told them 'As soon as you put your bags in the car go to the bakery and get some bread.' So off they ran on ahead with their lighter bags while Yusef and I struggled with the heavier ones.

As soon as I walked out the door I was approached by a beggar girl. She appeared to be in her late teens, stunk to high heaven, and started in by telling me she was a 'bint al blad min Miserata.' She was lying of course, she was Egyptian. I was trying my best to ignore her which was very difficult as she was only about two inches away from me. I was laden down with bags and having to watch my purse, watch, etc while listening to her go on and on about needing nine dinars for Asthma medicine for her brother.

Yusef was struggling with his bags as well and was unable to assist me other than to tell the girl to get lost. We got nearer the car and I adjusted myself to hit the alarm button on my key chain so the kids could start loading the car. At that same moment the beggar girl moved in closer, meaning she was physically touching me. I lost my balance, slipped on the pavement and fell.... Boom!... Pain searing up my leg, I felt muscles tear. Luckily I managed to keep hold of my purse (most likely to the disappointment of the girl). 'Ya sattar!' I cried out, 'Get away from me!'

By this time Nora and Sara had put their bags in the car and had left to go to the bakery, all without noticing my predicament. Yusef at this point, was loading up the car and arranging bags in the trunk. I somehow managed to get up, with the beggar girl still insisting that I give her nine dinars for asthma medicine. If my hands had been free I'd have slapped the @%&* out of her!

I got to the car and Yusef told me to get in while he arranged the bags. I sat down behind the steering wheel, wondering how much damage had occurred to my leg. The passenger door opened and I looked up thinking it was Yusef - but it wasn't. It was the *%#@*&% beggar girl. 'Get out of my car!' I shouted. 'Yusef, get her out of here before I kill her!'

Yusef managed to get her to leave and at that same moment Nora and Sara came back, empty handed of course... no bread at the bakery...sigh..

I didn't get a chance to look at my leg until we got home. My ankle was already pretty swollen and there was a bruise near my knee. I elevated it while the kids got us something to eat. This morning it hurts worse, both ankle and knee.

Ramadan will see an increase in beggars in Libya. I never give to beggars in the street. There are enough people who I know personally that are truly needy. The depressing thing is that beggars usually stick to the same area, so most likely I will have to deal with this aggressive girl whenever I go to this particular shop. I happen to like this shop but in the future I will probably think twice before stopping there.

A friend of mine suggested giving the beggars Santa costumes to wear and a bell to ring like beggars do in the US during Christmas, anyone feeling particularly benevolent will just throw some money into a bucket at Santa's feet... sigh... Santa somehow doesn't look right for Ramadan. My leg hurts... and this is the second post I've made this week that has censored swear words in it... sigh...


  1. In the 70's Cairo was full beggers but the goverment curbed their activities. I would give money to a poor person trying to make a living in Cairo.

    Your post reminded me last Sunday by homeless teenager who posted a sign "Spank me for a dollar" unfortunately she was unclean and unsexy.

    In my city, new law came out against panhandlers who block sidewalks in downtown, after 2 years of study how to handle these panhandlers with out violating their civil rights. San Francisco suffers so much of these panhandlers. Panhandlers are pest in my opinion.


    Note: Use Bengay

  2. Wow your life is really exciting Aunty Khadijah! :D I don't mind helping people, but the big problem is that you don't know who you can trust and who is telling the truth or not!
    The bakery was out of bread? That actually happens in Libya?

  3. Dear Khadija
    I'm amazed. You've got a lot of patience, if it was me I would've landed a fist on this smelly stinking Egyptian bitch's face. If the situation is getting that bad in Tripoli, I would suggest that you carry a baseball bat with you or carry a mace (pepper spray). One thing I will not tolerate, anyone trying to force himself, or herself on me, and when that happens I'm entitled to a self defense.

  4. yes, unfortunately bakeries run out of bread. The last few weeks have been miserable - something about a flour shortage.

    Pepper spray! I wish I had some. A tazer gun might be nice too. If my arms weren't full of bags I would have smacked her... but the thought of touching her just creeps me out...


  5. I think for my Ramadan shopping I'm going to ask your advice you seem to know all the best places in town :)

  6. Highlander.... Put on some comfortable shoes and get ready to shop until you drop! Just tell me when.

  7. Well Khadija, you seem to get into some real situatlions! I know how you feel about these beggers they are really getting out of hand. We have a very old lady who insists on standing in the middle of the road to beg from the cars. I'm sure she will cause a serious accident one day.
    Hope you leg is alright.

  8. sorry to see that u went through alot of hassel for some thing u do not need to face, at least u r lucky in england now begers use knived. to get what they wannt.its a night mare .people must feel safe to go out about doing thiere things, do not blame the place blame whos behind it? hope u will get better soon

  9. You know I have seen so many poor people in my life. Beggers are every where in one form or another. This girl was unbelievable. She sure was bent on getting something but the only thing she got was ill will. I was taught as a kid that if you give to one then you must give to them all and sooner or later they will be back for more. You become an easy mark. This one little girl has opened the eyes and maybe even hardened the hearts of so many people around the world. Sad for her and sad for me.
    I hope that Col.Kadafi will help her.

  10. Chatalane - I don't think the girls intention was to really get money from me. I think she was hoping to grab my bag, my jewelry, or whatever else she could get hold of. I think that's why she opened the door to my car - she was probably hoping I had put my purse down in a place she could easily grab it and then make a run for it. My purse was in my lap so her attempts were thwarted.

    There are plenty of jobs these people could do if they wanted but it's easier for them to beg and steal. There are also charities set up to help the needy in Libya. You can't blame the leader.

    My leg is much better now. The heat is bothering me more.

  11. I am so glad you feel better Teri! I didn't mean to ignore that.

    I just get very aggravated with people that try and take advantage of others. What I was alluding to was I think Col. Kadafi needs to put the likes of her in jail!!

    The world is full of people looking for something for nothing. And this young gal could have put her energy towards an honest job. I am sorry if I didn't make myself clear.

  12. Beggars in America don't wear Santa costumes at Christmas, though that makes an amusing mental picture. Those "Santa's helpers" are collecting for charity -- with the proceeds eventually making it to the needy.

  13. Miserable
    I can't trust them at all
    10yrs ago when I was alone and we were new at the street
    some body knocked the door she was telling me that she's my neighbor I believed her because I knew there's a neighbor but at that time I didn't know her name so when I opened it I found that Its different face Opps so I closed the door but she was pushing and I'm pushing and she was telling her daughter **زوقي يابت** and Allah brought my father that was the solution .
    she was telling dadi that her husband got cancer and since that time I can't even to think about helping them at street,,,It was a mistake to forget Miss.Toha's name

    fe aman Allah

  14. I am shocked by how uncompassionate you are. A poverty stricken teenage girl asks you for a mere few dinars and you refuse, then call her abusive names and send your kids upon her? Shame shame shame

  15. anonymous.... considering she had pushed me into a corner and was eyeing my bag with the hopes of making off with it I think I did the right thing. She was using begging as a ruse to get close enough to grab my bag. I'd have been a whole lot more compassionate if she had asked me to help her find a job. And if I was in the vicinity of a pharmacy I'd have gone in and bought the medicine for her. But that isn't what she wanted.

  16. wow - beggars in Libya. No beggars in 2002, how things have changed!



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