The Sinai

Animal Welfare

Toota, Trump & Goats
Toota, Trump & Goats

Dahab is home to a collection of various animals, many of which roam the streets. Flocks of goats, owned by local Bedouin families, are often seen wandering around Dahab looking for greenery or a tasty piece of cardboard to eat. 

Goats

The goats and sheep appreciate gifts of vegetable and fruit scraps from your kitchen, although preferably not mouldy! They also are very happy to accept old bread. Be careful when you are walking home with bags of fresh produce though, attempts to steal them from you are a possibility. 

Dogs

It is hard not to notice the many dogs that mill around the tourist areas in Dahab. These street dogs have been loved enough to have become highly domesticated. They are quite well taken care of, with an active Animal Welfare group neutering and vaccinating many of them. Adoption of street dogs is common. Contact Animal Welfare Dahab for more information on the procedures for keeping a stray dog and for information on how to take them to your home country with you. 

Cats

Cats also live here in abundance. They will try to find a way into your homes, and if you start feeding them, more will inevitably turn up. 

Horses

Horses are also kept in Dahab, primarily for tourists to ride. A few of them are magnificent Arabian horses, while others are reliable less spirited characters that are usually gelded. 

Camels

Camels live mainly in the desert and around Saint Catherine’s but a few Bedouin families in Dahab own some. They are usually kept in compounds or tied up. There are a number south of Dahab which give tourists rides along the beach or up the wadis into the mountains. Occasionally, you might see camels being brought to the beach for a wash in the sea.  

Mice

Mice are also common in Dahab. They like to sneak inside in the colder months, especially in ground floor properties. They are tiny but steal food and leave droppings everywhere. There are sticky traps available in the kitchenware shops for catching them.    

What do the 10 Commandments say concerning Animals?

At the heart of the Sinai Covenant, in the middle of the ten Commandments, animals are to be given rest from labour one day in seven. ‘Beasts of burden’ such as cattle and donkeys are specifically mentioned.

‘’… but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do.’’

Deuteronomy 5:14.

The Correlation between the way people treat Animals and the way they treat Humans

Besides taking care of animals for their own sake it has been found that there is a strong correlation between the way people treat animals and the way they treat other human beings. A study in 1983 found that in 88% of homes where children were being abused, animals were also being cruelly treated. Research in 1997 discovered that people who abuse animals are five times more likely to harm other people. A further study in 2017 revealed that in 89% of cases of domestic violence against women, their pets were threatened, harmed, or killed by their abusive partners.[1]

I once overheard a guy in Cairo bragging that on his honeymoon he had killed his bride’s beloved cat, presumably to show his dominance in the relationship. Fortunately, the Bedouin do not behave like this but show genuine affection for their animals. Recently I witnessed a young man talking to and kissing his camel! 

The righteous care for the needs of their animals,
    but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel
.

Proverbs 12:10

The Scriptures look forward to the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth when animals and people live together in harmony with one another. 

The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
    and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD
    as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11:6-9.

Reference

[1]  https://aldf.org/article/the-link-between-cruelty-to-animals-and-violence-toward-humans-2/

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