I am Jeneen, from Gaza-Palestine.
Human and Animal Rights activist. A translator graduated from Faculty of Communications and Languages Science - Translation Field. Working in Mixed Media field.
About six years ago a simple dream I had for a long time came true when my uncle Sami brought a new born rescued dog to our house for me to adopt and raise myself. Arya, a beautiful Canaan dog (the native dog to the Levant). Arya’s mother was shot by local police in our town and her new born brother was stolen. My helpless uncle Sami couldn’t do anything but grief. He loves dogs and animals and he grew that in me since a young age. I still remember him storming out the house yelling at my cousins and kids in the street for torturing a dog or a cat they found that usually are left scared physically and emotionally, some are left lonely and some are left nearly dead. He’s been rescuing animals his whole life and takes them to a secure farm my other uncle owns away from these cold streets. I loved visiting him in our old town because I always got a chance to play with the dogs who only needed some love and only showed me love.
He emphasized the feeling of empathy in my cousins and I as we grew up. I believe his biggest success is that I no longer see kids torturing animals in our neighborhood as before at least not on his watch or any other adult. I always had an urge and eagerness to help these animals in a place where my empathy toward animals was always undermined and neglected because simply people think only humans are worth of our empathy and sympathy in a place where people die every single day. In 2017 the government in Gaza issued a law banning people from walking their dogs in the street for the sake of public safety. In 2018 Gaza Municipality issued a statement allowing anyone to kill street dogs for a reward of exactly worthless 10 NIS (3$). I really believe that people are the ones who pose danger to these innocent animals not the opposite. In a place where the government uses police forces to exterminate dogs, spread poison in the streets that harms other animals, plants and the ecosystem, and in a place where you simply can’t walk your dog in the street without being harassed by local security forces, an urgent call to raise awareness toward animals rights and the need for an action to be taken is a must and a necessity. A new culture of love and care needs to emerge and be emphasized. If we teach our children empathy and care the ripple effect in the society will reach further than expected and animals and pets are the best way to teach our children how to take care of a soul. In a place that lacks love and conscience people need to understand that these animals do not pose any risk or danger to people or our children. If we meet them with love and contain them they will meet us with love and show their innocence that has been deprived.
I love dogs and especially my beautiful dog Arya she’s like my daughter and my best friend. She was next to me all along my pregnancy like she knew what’s going on. My family and I always took care of her and showed her love. We fed her, took her out, and when she was sick we took her to the vet and I would stay up with her. One time she got so sick I thought I helplessly lost her but I always used to hug her and sit next to her for hours making sure she’s calm and breathing. Lucky us, Arya got better and I gave birth to a beautiful child named Aelia who I was so excited to introduce to Arya. Then they became bestfriends.
Two months ago, I left Gaza to Istanbul again for work. First time I left, Arya was depressed. The thing that pushed me to go back to Gaza as soon as possible. This time, after I left she was severely sick. My parents took good care of her, showed her to a vet who couldn't give an accurate diagnose for her situation cause of the lack of equipment and experiences in this field in Gaza. About one week ago, Arya died, which was shocking, tragic and heartbreaking to all of us. We lost one of our family. Since then, I am insisting on making my dream of opening pets shelter in Gaza come true soon.
I always have wondered what is the fate of all those street animals. In a society where violence have infested to the deepest corners of each ally and street, I thought the best way to approach this issue is with a grassroots advocacy and community engagement project that builds bridges of empathy between local people and animals focusing mainly on children. My urge and desire to help encouraged me to think of a plan to help these animals so I want to seize this opportunity and start the first animal shelter in Gaza with the help of my uncle Sami. The shelter will be a home for every street dog and cat and will be there asylum from human cruelty.
The shelter will have three major sections: recreation and training center, veterinary and hygiene center, community engagement and adoption center.
1- Recreation and training: a dedicated safe space for animals to have a spacious home where they can sleep, eat and play safely and freely. We take in consideration that some animals will be traumatized and unable to communicate with other animals and beings so we believe it’s a necessity to have a spacious training space for these innocent animals to be able to reintroduce them in the society as equals.
2- Veterinary and hygiene: With the help of hired local vets and experts this section of the shelter will be responsible for vaccinating and healing wounded animals and make sure they’re always eating the right food and getting the right treatment. The center will also be responsible for mating animals together, estimate age for rescued animals, and issue birth certificates and names to these beautiful beings. Paperwork and animals’ history is a necessity for people to view these animals as equal beings.
3- Community engagement and adoption: This is the core of the project since it’s a grassroots problem solving project aimed at educating and engaging people and animals together in the right appropriate ways. Once the animals are ready to be reintroduced in the community and have contact with other humans we will take the opportunity to raise awareness regarding animals rights and the need to show love and care to everyone. We will be in constant contact with educational institutions and schools to make school trips and raise awareness among our children. People will be welcome to bring their animals to our play area to make friends with rescued animals. Animals who are healthy able and ready will be up for adoption and the money generated from that will go back in the project to continue it and serve its purpose of rescuing more animals and engaging them in the society.
Ambitions and goals:
1- To eradicate hunger and homelessness among all street animals in Gaza.
2- To rescue all street animals.
3- Raise awareness regarding the necessity of respecting animals and their rights.
4- Spread a culture of love and adopting rescued animals instead of showing off with expensive breeds and objectifying animals.
Hamas Bans Dog Walking in the Gaza Strip
- Donors who want to know more details about the shelter budget can contact me on my email [email protected]
- I will be posting updates of my journey opening this shelter from the beginning till the end.