Endowments Minister vows to ban begging near mosques

Endowments Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa has condemned acts of begging and street vending outside mosques in Egypt, stressing that his ministry will combat actions that "disturb the holiness of places of worship."
 
Gomaa told reporters his ministry had taken on the duty of eliminating begging and street vending in and around mosques.
 
Worshippers and visitors giving money to beggars makes the problem worse, Gomaa claimed, because it encourages beggars to ask for money.
 
He called on citizens to pay Zakat and charity according to the official method, in exchange for certified receipts.
 
Gomaa also revealed that the Endowments Ministry made an agreement with the Housing Ministry to restore major mosques in Egypt.
 
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm