Dalrymple writes in The Salisbury Review of a noticeable increase in the number of Syrian beggars in Paris, many of them entire families. Though he usually gives beggars some small change, they are increasingly using a new tactic that turns him off:

…what prevents me from giving them so much as a sou is that the children have been trained to make a continuous whining or keening sound that is obviously neither spontaneous nor sincere. It is rank bad acting. Far from wanting to give them a coin, I want to give them a slap so that they stop their dreadful noise.

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