At the Citadel of Qaitbay
Since my first visit to Egypt, I have been fascinated with the majesty of the people, culture, streets among many others. It was normal to see animals so integrated into every-day life.
While visiting the Citadel of Qaitbay located in the Coastal city of Alexandria, I spotted a tiny stray kitten hiding in the corner of a room. I stepped back, gave it space, but other tourists went in and crowded the poor thing. Out of panic, the cat kept stepping back on the window ledge until it hit the air with its back paws. Grasping at the ledge with its front paws, it was so tiny it wasn’t able to hold itself up and it fell to the ground.
Unfortunately, this story doesn’t have a happy ending. I ran to the ground floor and was held back by adults around me; at such a young age, it wasn’t deemed appropriate for me to see what was left of the kitten. The panic in the small kitten’s eyes, the reach of empathy that is intangible but definitely still there, has stayed with me. Throughout my life, I have always sworn that I will go back to Egypt and help out the animals as much as possible.
After that day, I looked at the working animals in a different way. Seeing scars on their noses and backs, poor hoof care, dental issues and festering sores. Reminded by Gandhi’s famous quote, “be the change you that wish to see in the world”, I have planned to return to Egypt and be part of a change.
Thoughts On Animal Rights
To me, supporting animal rights simply means treating animals with the same kindness that we expect to be treated with. To be free from harm, suffering, to have food and shelter and, above all, to be treated like a sentient being rather than an object. By no means do I disagree with having working animals, but all animals work better if they’ve been kept healthy and treated well.
Many Egyptian families depend on animal power as the primary means of technology in the farming process. Through pushing for better welfare, it not only benefits the animals but the whole community.
As with the metaphor of the donkey with the stick and the carrot; things get easier if you create something to work towards instead avoiding having a goal. Working towards a future where animals are healthy and thus more beneficial to the peoples’ livelihoods, animal welfare can provide an excellent example for children and their pets.
My contribution to animal rights movement follows the ground-up approach where awareness on animal welfare is the heart and soul of any campaign.
People would recognize how they treat and affect all animals around them starting with animals that support a family’s income to the stray dogs on the streets.
We share the world, and animals are as much integral to our survival as we are for theirs.
Donate to Support Animal Care in Egypt
Therefore, I will be working with Animal Care in Egypt (ACE), as a veterinary student assisting them in their mission of providing free spay and neutering and educating children on the value of these animals and the importance of good animal welfare.
ACE is dedicated to ending the suffering of donkeys, camels, horses, and more. In order to bring support from around the world, I’m collecting donations and giving back to the donors with hand-made stickers and patches.
The donations will all go directly to the clinic, supporting more cases like the 29,000 animals who were helped last year, buying supplies and paying for essential food, medications, and more.
If you want to be a part of the change that’s improving working animals lives and ending suffering, you can find the link to the fundraiser here.
I’m beyond excited to be back in Luxor after all these years. Not only have I grown, but my love of animals has too. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to spread that as far as possible.
If you’d like to learn more about the work that ACE does, you can find their website here