Vendors out, beggars in at mosques

Vendors out, beggars in at mosques
Updated 10 November 2013

Vendors out, beggars in at mosques

Vendors out, beggars in at mosques

It is probably for the first time that one got a clear view of mosques in Jeddah on a Friday thanks to the absence of vendors who normally occupy the open yards abutting the mosques.
Most vendors have gone underground fearing arrest in labor raids, resulting in free crowd movement this Friday in front of mosques that would otherwise have been cramped with people shopping.
Vendors from Yemen, Afghanistan and Egypt dominate yard sales in all mosques in Jeddah city, selling everything from footwear, garments, general items, electrical tools, mobile phone devices, household items, vegetables and fruits. Bangladeshis also used to line up to offer change of car sunshades.
Many worshippers shop for vegetable, seasonal fruits and general household items from these vendors near mosques.
Since there is stiff competition among vendors, many of them come before Adan and occupy their slot and by the time the Friday prayer is over, most mosques yards are full with such stalls, making it difficult for worshippers to pass through.
Business is hectic for about an hour immediately after prayer.
Most of these vendors are violators of not only visa rules but also the general rules of municipality that prohibits sale without permission.
But, there is one group which is happy with the latest development. Beggars are now glad that they can position themselves right next to the steps leading to the mosques in the absence of vendors.
A group of female beggars from Chad told Arab News: “We are happy and relaxed to find space inside the mosque yard.”