Five days ago, I wrote a blog post about a child I’ve been seeing on my way to work who I was afraid was being abused.
To recap, every day as I go to work I see a woman who covers her face with a face veil pushing a five or six year-old child in a wheelchair. The child is always asleep. Always very limp. Extremely and deathly thin. Face always covered. No way to recognize either the woman or the child.
I was seriously concerned that the child was being drugged – possibly even kidnapped – and used for the purpose of begging. I began tweeting and facebooking about the couple to try to figure out what to do. I was told by many people that it actually does happen in Egypt that children are kidnapped and drugged for this purpose. (more…)
Ever since I’ve known Egypt, I’ve seen street beggars and street children. Story after media story has been written about them locally and internationally. They are so commonplace most of us don’t give them a second thought. The children come from broken homes, or have run away from home, or are kidnapped from home, or are simply used by their parents and extended families as a source of income. There are large gangs of beggars in Egypt. It’s an underground society. I remember an Egyptian movie made about them in the 70s or 80s that depicted beggars who played the role of a deformed person in need of money during the day who went home to a nice, fully furnished apartment in the evening.
In Egypt, we know all about the beggars and their underground society. Yet we continue to indulge them. And they are allowed to roam our streets freely. (more…)