Pause for Paws! Stop and learn about animal care from professionals and others in your community! My project for Khobar, Saudi Arabia, would be to gain support for the education on how to treat animals better. I find that there are many stray cats and dogs that are mistreated and I would like to create an event that educates people on what they can do to help these animals rather than harm them or just leave them out on the streets.
The problems that people are facing in the community is two-fold. On one hand the expats or foreign workers here will often take in a cat or dog for the duration of their stay here, but after a year or so they eventually abandon the animals when they are ready to leave the country for good. They often just put them out on the streets to fend for themselves. The other side of the problem is that often local families are not as keen on having domesticated animals due to cultural reasons. Children are often seen throwing stones at the outdoor cats and dogs. This is changing though, but as usual in the kingdom that change is very slow. As discussed in week 3, I see the reasoning from the locals side by using the cultural lenses. I have spoken to locals to try to better understand why they it is not popular opinion to have animals in their home. Much of that comes from the cleanliness issues of animals. It loosely aligns with the idea that cleanliness is next to Godliness, and religion is in every aspect of life here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There is no escaping it, and that has helped me be open to their viewpoints of animals in the home.
To host a Pause for Paws event it would take many resources. I think the largest difficulty would be to secure a versatile location where the genders would be allowed to mix. Usually this is strictly forbidden here, but more events are taking place that both men and women are allowed to observe from separate bleachers. "Entertainment" is usually never carried out in public, but recently Comic Con happened for the first time (although of course there were problems with it after for gender mingling), as well as a musical concert for about 8000 men to attend. I think the best resource would be the location here in Khobar. There is a large park area with grass, parking area, and water. This area could assist in holding different events on different terrains for the dogs or cats. It is an area frequented by singles and families and singles alike, so it would not be out of the norm to have an educational event on domesticated animals.
The next major resources would have to be the pulling from the expat community as well as the local community. To bring them together I would need "experts" to educate them about the animals. In this society it is improper for any man to talk to any woman that is not his wife or sister. Therefore, a family would not simply walk up to another family and start talking about their pets. The educational expert would have to be the moderator. Actual non profit groups that already assist in the communities of expats as well as local businesses that may deal with pets in some manner or another would also need to be tapped into as valuable resources. For the whole event to really have a chance at reality it would probably need to involve the city leaders approval, so I would need to have contact with government officials as well.
Overall, this would be a pretty tough project to bring to light and would take dedication on many peoples parts. Going up against the norms of a very old culture is difficult although it is slowly changing.