255 beggars arrested in Riyadh in first week of Ramadan

A Saudi man hands money to a woman begging outside a supermarket on a main street in the Saudi capital Riyadh, in this June 20, 2016 file photo. (AFP)
Updated 03 June 2017
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255 beggars arrested in Riyadh in first week of Ramadan

RIYADH: A total of 255 beggars — 56 men, 124 women and 75 children — were arrested in the capital during the first week of Ramadan.
Following Taraweeh prayers during the holy month, it is common to see groups of beggars pester motorists at traffic lights on the streets of Riyadh.
The police said the Saudi beggars arrested were handed over to the Ministry of Labor and Social Development for rehabilitation, while the others have been referred to the security committee against begging.
A police spokesman urged the public not to sympathize with these beggars or give them money.
Expatriate beggars are people who have violated local labor and residency regulations and continue to stay illegally in the Kingdom, according to the police.
Most crimes in the Kingdom are committed by illegal residents who have overstayed their visas, the spokesman said.
As a result, the government has intensified its campaign against such residents.


‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

Updated 28 min 12 sec ago
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‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

  • “First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah” Akon said 
  • He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits at the Asharqiah Music Festival

DAMMAM: American rapper Akon captivated a packed crowd at the Asharqiah Music Festival on Friday, opening up the second night of musical festivities at Sharqiah Season with a special shout-out to Saudi Arabia.

“You have no idea, I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi for years, man,” Akon said, before launching into his song, “Gunshot.” Later, he told the crowd: “I’m seeing a tremendous change in Saudi Arabia here tonight."

At 8 p.m., under a bright moon on a beautifully cool night, Akon began his set, delighting fans who had spent over 10 minutes chanting his name in anticipation of his arrival.

He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits, including “Smack That,” “Mr. Lonely” and “Sorry: Blame It On Me.” And he wrapped things up with “I love you, Saudi... thank you for making me feel at home."

Backstage before the concert, Akon told Arab News how excited he was to be in Saudi Arabia for the first time. He was especially excited to visit one Saudi city in particular.

“First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah.”