In the midst of chaos, a dog shelter opened in Gaza

The first shelter for dogs and stray dogs of Palestine opened this summer in Gaza. But on a territory devastated by years of conflict, the inauguration of such a place is not unanimous.

Saïd al-Ar is 45 years old, he is father and passionate about animals. In the past, he was the head of a police dog unit, and had under his responsibility dogs for the search for explosives and drugs. But in 2007, when Hamas took power in Gaza, it stopped working. However, he receives a salary and has decided to share it with the collateral victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the ones we never talk about: dogs. This summer, he created the al-Soulala Association for Protection, Rehabilitation and Training , a 2,700-square-meter shelter in a suburb south of Gaza City.

This kennel, the first in Palestine, supports domestic and stray dogs. They are t nourished, cared for, and familiarized with the Man in order to be proposed for adoption , as we learn AFP . 75 dogs are already housed there and count on the 25 volunteers of the association to take care of them.

The dog, "impure" for Islam

But on a territory devoured by misery, the opening of a shelter for dogs is not always well perceived: indeed, some consider that animals, far from being the priority, should pass after many human problems to solve : the insecurity, hunger, unemployment , etc. The misunderstanding aroused by the opening of this kennel is all the more acute among some Gazans that the dog is considered " impure " in the Muslim religion. Also, the $ 35,000 that Saïd al-Ar spent on creating this dog sanctuary could have served another cause, they say.

Towards a change of mentality?

However, Gaza seems to know a growing sympathy for dogs , as found by volunteers of the association. Every morning, they go around restaurants and shops to collect meat and chicken for their boarders. They are also welcoming more and more people into the shelter, and receiving numerous calls from people alerting them to the presence of dogs in distress. All this goes in the direction of improvement of the canine condition in Palestine, even if, all too often, stray dogs are killed with gunshots or poisoned.

No offense to his detractors, Saïd al-Ar strives to save dogs in need. He is already dreaming of expanding his refuge and opening a dog food factory, as well as a veterinary clinic. The Palestinian authorities have promised him a five-hectare plot, but for the time being, this brave hero has mostly needed to meet the needs of his boarders.

To read on the same theme : This hero takes care of the animals victims of the war in Syria