A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

at last, a cheerful giver

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on November 18, 2007

During Ramadan I wrote about Dar al-Aytam and its charitable giving solicitor’s unflattering assessment of me as uncharitable. When the Red Cross/Red Crescent came by last week, I was better prepared.

I pulled out twice the amount I had donated to Dar al-Aytam. The two young men collecting funds smiled, then frowned.

I’m sorry, said the first, but it isn’t enough. This campaign was announced last night on television – didn’t you see it?

What is it with the “thanks for the thought but your donation is unacceptable” mentality in this country? I wondered, gritting my teeth. But this time I was determined to get the stamp on my door-frame.

I’m afraid I don’t watch much television, I said, smiling apologetically. How much more do I need to give?

The television campaign apparently called for two and a half times what I had given – an amount far outside the donation range of the average Lebanese person, but still cheaper than Dar al-Aytam’s $2,000.

I wanted the stamp, so I paid. And as soon as the two men had gone, I stepped out into the hall and took a photo, to record it for posterity.


I felt smug all the rest of the week – after all, I had proof before God and everyone (i.e., my neighbors) that I was a generous person.

Yesterday, though, I realized that I hadn’t noticed the stamp in a few days. I’m out of town for a few days, so I can’t double-check the door-frame. But I suspect that the stamp fell victim to my concierge’s cleaning streak.

Its alright though – losing the stamp is merely a good reminder that charity, to “count”, must constantly be renewed.

One Response to “at last, a cheerful giver”

  1. intlxpatr said

    I love this entry! And your right hand is not supposed to know what your left hand is doing, so if the stamp is gone, you know in your heart how generous you were, even if all your neighbors don’t know!

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