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Selfie-taker apologises to ‘trash child’

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Selfie-taker apologises to ‘trash child’
Manama: The young man who caused uproar on Saudi social media by taking a selfie with an African child sitting in a container and picking through trash in the background has apologised profusely.

Feeling singularly remorseful after his act that was severely criticiaed by online users, the young man roamed the streets of the Red Sea port city of Jeddah until he located the child, a young girl.

He presented his apologies and offered her several gifts, telling her that he did not mean to hurt or humiliate her in any way, local news site Al Marsad reported. He took pictures with her amid the wrapped gifts he brought her.

He also posted an apology on his Twitter account.

Online users are now waiting for action by Saudi rally champion Yazid Al Rajhi who had said that he wanted to help the child sorting through the garbage.

“I want to give the child SR50,000 and I seek assistance in identifying and locating him,” he said on his Twitter account.

“I want to help this child because he did not choose to steal or do evil things to satisfy his needs, but opted to remain within the legal confines of the law. I would like people to help me locate him,” he said, quoted by local news site Al Marsad.

Al Rajhi, like most online users, was not aware that the child was a young girl.

The selfie-taker had come under heavy criticism for taking the selfie and online users said that he was “totally insensitive” and should be punished for his “heartless action.”

“This is highly disrespectful and utterly stupid,” Ahmad said. “He can be a narcissist, but this is definitely not the place where he indulges in taking selfies.”

For Abu Abdul Aziz, the selfie was a total embarrassment for the man who took it.

“It is outrageous and there should be action against him. A true believer instinctively helps people and not ridicule them or demean their dignity,” he said.

Basma was highly critical of the selfie-taker, saying that he had no mercy in his heart.

“He needs to be disciplined for his outrageous behaviour,” she said.

For Sarem, people should abstain from ridiculing others or exploit their misery.

“Do not make fun of others because you never know,” he said. “God may easily strip you of the blessings that you currently have and you might end up like this poor boy sorting through trash to find something to eat,” he said.

The online debate took another dimension after Al Rajhi’s financial assistance offer sparked arguments on the merit of offering money to foreigners.

Several commenters said that Saudi needy nationals should be given the priority over foreigners.

“I have noticed that wealthy Saudis tend to donate money to foreigners and do not show real compassion towards their needs co-citizens,” Hind posted.

“It gives you the impression that foreigners are human beings, but Saudis are not. Should a Saudi sift through garbage or climb into a trash container to deserve attention from the wealthy. The priority should be for needy Saudis,” she said.

Mutabaa, a blogger, said that caution was needed in donation cases.

“We must not forget that there are several gangs that are exploiting children and women by putting them in specific areas to make them appear as hungry and thirsty and thus trigger people’s compassion,” he said. “The money they are given is passed on to the gang leaders.”

Sharon Shetty

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