The bus driver who became a beggar!


Okaz/ Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — Abu Hadi, 55, never thought that he will end up living under the bridge, begging for money after many years of hard work as a private bus driver. Ever since the decision by the Traffic Department to ban private buses from operating their services, Abu Hadi became jobless as he could not find a suitable job for a man of his age.

Abu Hadi suffers from heart problems and is receiving treatment at King Abdulaziz Hospital in Jeddah. He is from the south of the Kingdom and comes to Jeddah regularly for medical check-ups. He worked in Jeddah as a private bus driver until the ban decision was enforced. Abu Hadi used to work for long hours to support his family of seven. After the ban rendered him jobless, Abu Hadi had no choice but to send his welfare salary to his family, living back in the south. Since he has no relatives in Jeddah and cannot afford to rent a house to wait for his medical appointment, he was forced to live under the bridge and beg for money.

A source from Ministry of Labor and Social Development said that begging is against the law. If a Saudi citizen was caught begging, he will be transferred to the responsible authorities to examine him and his case and take the needed steps to provide him with the needed support. If the beggar was a child, then he will be handed over to his family. Expatriate beggars face deportation.