Syrian Refugees Begging in Sana’a Streets

Their visibility is high – it is not everyday that you see beautiful women with stylish abayaat and hijab begging in the streets of Sana’a!

I was waiting in the bus at an intersection and I saw the usual beggars working their strips. They were all from the “Akhdam” people (African looking Yemenis who mostly work as street cleaners) and then amongst them one Syrian girl without niqab and nice abaya.

She received some money from a motorist and then the other beggars jumped her and waved their sticks around threateningly. There was a scuffle and I didn’t get to see exactly what happened. It looked like the Syrian girl silently slipped out of the scrum of women and continued begging with the others continued argueing. She collected some more money from passing motorists and then moved on before anyone noticed.

She never raised her voice during the attack, she remained calm and kept her wits about her. I was quite impressed. I feel for these Syrian women because it is clear that they were once wealthy or at least middle-class comfortable. I see them in the street and the comments they get from the men. These girls are so vulnerable and I ask ALlah to protect them, increase their rizq and make for them a way in Sana’a.

I also ask the same for the other beggar women. It is not something that anyone likes to see – it could be your own sister and mother one day, or even you yourself.



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