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Peddlers, beggars, thieves and more!

Source : | 19 July 2012 |  Arts & Culture, News, Society | 1231 views


As always, yesterday after got out of work, I took the bus back home. I was placing earphones in my ears listening to Radio, and was mesmerized by the window trying to keep balance in between the bus seats. After few bus stations, while I was absorbed by a piece of music I was listening to, a high voice draw my attention when a toothless bearded man raised “Salam Alaikoum.” I turned to see what’s going on, and when I noticed that the man was carrying some small Kleenex tissue boxes, I thought he wanted to sell them for interested passengers, and then I turned my sight away. But, after a moment I realized that he was not interested in selling, but begging.

Until now everything seems normal as a lot of people do the same, they sell some commodities and at the same time beg, but this look-like peddler beggar situation is quite different.

As I said, after he saluted the passengers in high voice and had their attention as he had mine, he started narrating a “sad” story, not his, but of a person carrying a small kid with his “wife” following him in the bus. He said that the family was from “Berkane” city which is far hundreds of kilometers from Casablanca, and they come here for administrative matters, but thieves stole the man’s wallet, and lost all they own, a sum of 3000 dhs the bearded man said. And he met them and suggested to help them by begging for them in buses in order to collect the sum to pay for bus tickets to their home.

The narrator borrowed much from religious language and he asked people that the man needed only 150 dhs, and we, bus passengers, have all to help him to go back to his home, and no one would like to be in this poor man’s situation. With his cunning looks and aggressive sometimes, he tried as much as he can to gain the passengers’ sympathy and convince them, and he really succeeded to do, and many have extended their hands toward him and helped. The man who supposed to be stolen was holding the kid and was drawing sadness on his face and from time to other was weeping and pretends as if he wanted to cry, while the “wife” was silently following the two real thieves during the show.

Yes the two men are the real thieves because I already saw the pretended “Berkani” once before, in the same bus line, playing a different scenario with another person, for that I’m sure that they are a group of swindlers moving around the city looking for gullible people to cheat. And all what the three did was a mere theatrical performance to steal the passengers’ money, profiting of their good will and sympathy, and every member of the group has a role he should play perfectly.

Of course, helping is a great pleasure and being generous to others is a good quality we should preserve, but we have to pay attention, and when we aim to give charity, at least choose some destitute people, that may sometimes be only near our homes, and avoid giving it to such malign people that are not in need at all, but sometimes have more money than the one who helps them.

Rachid Madani


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