Young Street Sellers


At least twice or three times every week, a group of kids aged somewhere between 8 and 10 show up at certain traffic intersections and try to sell toys, tissue boxes or perfume to drivers waiting for the green light. If you haven’t come across them before, they usually appear sometime between 7 and 9 PM near residential areas to gain the benefit of the afternoon rush hour.


Does this not disturb anyone? Kids shouldn’t be left out alone on the streets! Obviously, whoever is responsible for putting those kids at risk is trying to bend the law, because as far as I know, it is illegal for an adult to sell products (to the public) without a trade license. What’s worse is the fact that people fall for their pitiful image and agree to buy from them only to further motivate the organizer’s intentions!

It is arguable that these children belong to citizens who are indeed poor and needy, and for that there are other ways you can help:

  • Donate Zakat (although some might question where it ends up).
  • Donate old/unfitting clothes and shoes.
  • Donate unwanted household items or furniture.
  • Offer food (when possible).

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22 thoughts on “Young Street Sellers

  1. I was thinking of this for a long time. I always see the kid near the traffic light at the airport road, near college in Khaldiya.

    Donating clothes, shoes …etc. wouldn’t solve the problem because they’d still need money to buy food, shelter & what not.

    I can’t see an end to this problem, no .. to this epidemic unless the government helps those parents who are “compelled” to use their kids in such way.

  2. Yeah.. These kids just break my heart! I once spotted a car that obviously drops them off then pick’em up later on. Shoof 3beid, is it the issue of poor families who send off their kids in the heat, on the dangerous streets risking having them killed in car accidents or even kidnapped by psychos to satisfy their least requirement? Or the issue of greedy basturds who wanna make money using every means possible, even if it is their own flesh and blood?

    Whether it’s this or that, where is the government? Where are the police officers, whose cars would be parked on the side and they can easily stop this on the spot by watching them o eventually catch them and the people behind this. Wein Beit ElZakat 3anhoum? What do they do to help?

    It is so sad to know that in Kuwait, some families live below poverty line and some people cannot find even food or shelter – (This is a good idea). It is sad to see beggars, It is sad to see people eating from the garbage…. Ect..

  3. “they’d still need money”

    I realize that, and unless you could offer them a job, then there’s not much you can do. But if you’re feeling supportive, buying isn’t the right way to do so.

    Chikitta, I don’t know what the government’s standpoint on this issue is but the fact is those kids are still out there and nobody’s doing anything about it.

  4. Ohhh, thats really terrible & sad!

    1st time I saw such a situation here in my city, but these children were not Russian: something like from Afghanistan.
    They did not sell anything… they just were asking for money, walking among cars in the most dangerous part of a road!
    I was shoked!

    But then in the Middle East… Yes, these children sell something & walking so calm among cars too. We gave them money usually without taking anyhting from them.

    But I guess, it will not help.

    Where are their parents?

    Poor!

  5. Employement is the answer, as you mentioned 3baid. The problem is, they can’t be employed, have a job, register marriage in court, health insurance, …etc.
    Moshkelat el bedoon akbar men ay ta9awor…

    Do you think that now women can enter the government, they will do something about this?

  6. I always see them around… it breaks my heart…

    wish they could just go play or do homework and not roam around endlessly for a extra family cash

  7. They’re “bidoon”, one of the kids was telling me one time how his guardian would hit him if he didn’t sell enough in a day.
    He broke my heart even more when he told me he wanted to finish school and that he was really good at it. No child should be deprived of their basic needs of food and education. It’s like robbing their future from them.

    I might be mistaken, but I think the government is to blame! I seriously don’t see what the harm is to give them citizenship. Without it, crime, illiteracy, and unemployment levels all increase, which is bad for soeciety as a whole. Shame on our government walla…

  8. here are some basic children’s rights as set forth by the UN in 1959:

    The Declaration of the Rights of the Child states:

    Every child, without any exception whatsoever shall be entitled to these rights without distinction or discrimination on account of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Whether of himself or of his family:

    -the child shall enjoy special protection and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity

    -the child shall be entitled from his birth to a name and nationality

    -the child shall enjoy the benefits of social security.

    -the child who is physically, mentally or socially handicapped shall be given the special treatment, education and care required by his particular condition.

    -the child, for the full and harmonious development of his personality, needs love and understanding.

    -the child is entitled to receive education, which shall be free and compulsory, at least in the elementary stages.

    -the child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation, which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavor to promote the enjoyment of this right.

    -the child shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation. He shall not be the subject of traffic in any form.

    -the child shall not be admitted to employment before an appropriate minimum age; he shall in no case be caused or permitted to engage in any occupation or employment which would prejudice his health or education, or interfere with his physical, mental or moral development.

    i apologize for the long comment just wanted to stress how neglegent we are of the rights of children as basic human rights

  9. i hate it, i really do … but they tell me that thier parents are
    “bedoon”, they cant work anywhere so they would do that. its just stupid …

    and once my mom came home with a wierd blue bag, i said “what is that?” she said “thier were a 8 year old selling toys near the traffic light (it was winter, Like Freezing. and he wasn’t waring a jacket or something) so i talked to him and he said he wouldn’t go home unless he sells every toy, or his father would beat him up, so my mom bought all the toys and told him to go home …
    i told her you just incoraged his father to give him more toys to sell next time -.- !!

  10. 3baid this reminds me of something happened in the mosque near my office; it is when I went to pray and saw those little kids, 7-10 boy and a girl from an arabic nationality who were begging, I didn’t go in and started asking them about the reason they are begging for and who dropped them here.

    And I got some information that shocked me; both of their parents go to work they live in a three bed room apartment in Hawali, they own a car, their mother works as a secretary at a private company and they didn’t tell me what their father worked; they skip school twice a week to beg. The girl started crying and her brother told her to stop talking to me or he will tell their mother and then asked me to give him money which I didn’t, I can’t encourage such people to do such things to their kids. And before leaving the mosque I told the kids to tell their mother that if I see them here again I will tell the police; and they never came back.

  11. dishevelled,
    The government can’t grant everyone (men el bidoon) citizenship. Why? Simply because this is how spies infiltrate your country, my country, our country.

    Some (most?) of those bidoon actually have nationalities but have dropped it in order to gain the Kuwaiti citizenship.

    Yes, the government need to pay more attention to the matter, but not hand out citizenship as if it’s chirstmas.

  12. do u or dont u know that alot of the poor families in Q8.. bet elzakat ow rest of the charity societies ma ya36oonhom shy! 3ala asas inhom ygderon yeshtaghlon ow y3elon nafs`hom! ok sometimes they can.. bs like alot of them CANT!!! they should have social workers visit these families do a review and then decide on the amount of money or wutever to give them..

  13. mbh, I’m sure some dropped their nationalilities. But it’s been a LOOOOONG time and the issue of the bidoon is only increasing. They can’t work, not many can afford to send them kids to school, they can’t leave the country. If they did have their old nationalities/passports with them I think they would start using them already.

    Moreover, didn’t this whole “bidoon” issue result from the governments inability to properly the handle the situation of issuing nationalities back then?
    Keep in mind there are some bidoon who were kuwaiti’s and were here way before the 1960s

    Leaving all thos aside, I think dishevelled has a point…I can’t see a harm in giving them the nationality but not giving them it is only has negative effects on everyone

    These people have suffered enough, I think they already know that they have to work hard to live which is MUCH more than I can say/see for most people here. So my theory is, they’re gonna be hard workers cause they’ve seen the other side.

    Also, isn’t it better investing in these people and making something out of them rather than just not giving them their basic human rights – education and security?

  14. crash,
    Hey, don’t point at me! I’m simply stating the government’s excuse.

    As you said, those and a few people around can come with a really nice future generation. Nice as in hardworking, trust worthy and worry for their land.

    The worse the gov. treats them, the more bitter they become. No good.

  15. omg i know i hate this so much and i feel so sad cuz sometimes theyre soo young and they run around the cars wlama it9eer green light i get so scared cuz the idiots just hurry to get to the curb :( i try to not to encourage them buy giving them money but i cant its sooo hard not to when theyre so young and i dnt know :( i hate their parents though!!

  16. It burns me up every time I see these little kids on the street till late.
    Why aren’t there any laws that protect children from such abuse?

    It can’t be right. And children should not be made to support a family.

    Where are all the charities and lijan e Zakkat???? They do not give enough to these families.

    And it is well known that Bidoon cannot have a proper job; that they are always at risk, and even the foreigner in Kuwait has more rights than they do.

    If you give money to local Islamic charities, make sure you demand that a local educational charity is set up for Bidoon children so that they can pay their school fees.

    What is the use of building mosques in Bosnia and water wells in Africa when in Kuwait we have families that live BELOW poverty line and can hardly get by????

    Sponsor a bidoon child and get them out of the rut they are in. That is the best 7asanah.

  17. DO NOT buy things from these children. It will only prolong this abuse.

    Educate them so they will be empowered.

  18. I heard that they were not kuwaiti, and that some big shot or what ever, some how pays Syrian families to have their children come to kuwait to do this. Dont trust my word, just ask were they are from.

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