Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

I took this picture in the taxi while I was traveling in Marsa Matrouh, the Northern part of Egypt.  I saw this boy when the taxi stopped at the traffic light.  He wore unclean clothes, held some pieces of paper, and entered to the big water pipe (shisha) cafe.

Honestly, what came to my mind during that time were how many people who give him money? or how much money will he get?  Therefore, I just waited to see what will happen when he gets out from that cafe.

Almost a month that I’ve been here in Egypt, I found that there are a lot of beggars with several styles to beg for money from others.  I had quite bad experiences with child beggars.  When they came to me and ask for money, they spoke something in Arabic which I didn’t understand but I can feel I was intimidated instead of pity them.  Some of them touched me or even pulled my scarf and I almost fall to the floor.  When I gave them money, some of them didn’t satisfy and ask for more.  I was so scared and frightened.

The other type of child beggars I experienced came with a very cute looking and wore clean clothes.  They came with their moms.  The children came to ask for money while their mothers were waiting right there not so far.  I had mix feelings when I met these beggars, pity, depress and of course I was so scared.  This made me worried when I saw children walked around me when I was going out.

Back to the boy who disappeared into the water pipe cafe.  I was wondering what he did inside that cafe.  Suddenly, he came out with a pair of shoe in his hands.  Then he sat on the floor in front of the cage and started polishing those shoes.  I finally understand that he entered the shop not to ask for money but to ask for someone who wanted to clean their shoes.

I suddenly felt bad for myself that I judged him by his appearance.  This kid tried to do something in exchange for money, not only ask for it.  I really appreciate this kind of people especially this boy.  He was so struggling since childhood.  He made a living honestly.  I couldn’t give him money so I just prayed for him with all my heart.

I’m so thankful I’ve got a lot of lessons from this kid.  The big one is, like this idiom Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover.  From that time I kept telling myself never ever judge others from the first time we met or by their appearances.  You’ll be regret in the end when you know they aren’t what you think.

Then I thought about the money I gave to the beggars.  Sometimes I was willing to give but sometimes I was forced to give because of the situation.  I just think that if they had a better chance, they will not choose to be the beggars.  To give them money is the charity.  Just be thankful.  Like this Islamic quote:

“When you give someone charity, be thankful to them.  You’re fixing their Dunya but they’ll fix your Akirah.”  in shaa ALLAH


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