Friday, February 15, 2008

Free advertisements?

There are two things you need to perceive here, not only that they hinder those seeking a ride on the shores but also tourists with dogs. Frankly, no one pays attention as far as I can tell. You can spot a rover on the back; many other vehicles can be seen down the area too.

Now the interesting part is the advertisement that has been placed on the board itself. Well, click here to have a better view.

Who knows, we might have stop signs with ads too in the near future.


Anonymous said...

It was interesting to read your skeptical reaction to the anti dog signs that are to be found for hundreds of Km. along the Oman shoreline – even on quite remote beaches. Does anyone question the basis for this display of dog phobia? Surely we should respect all creatures put upon this world but it is a bit extreme to believe that the free ranging packs of wild dogs are able to read signs in Arabic or English. Why are there no signs telling the wild cats, rats, birds, crabs etc that they are prohibited from going on the beach?
No owner of a dog will be able to accept that a well behaved dog must be imprisoned in their residence or garden. This would be a great shock to those owners who are used to enjoying fresh air and exercise with their pets and those who have noticed that many civilized countries only require that owners should be responsible for the good behaviour of their animals. Most countries see no need to ban dogs from wide open natural spaces. If a dog is a nuisance to other people using the beach then the owner should be civilized enough to bring the dog under control. In the same way parents are responsible for ensuring that their children do not interfere with the enjoyment of public places by other people. There is a health argument for banning dogs from enclosed public spaces such as malls and eating places. It would be difficult to get public support for the idea that children should be kept off the beach because some of them run around and make a noise! Also some kids are terrifying!
Were these signs erected at considerable public expense to pander to an irrational fear of dogs (and generate a healthy profit for the contractor undertaking their erection)? Silly rules that are published and then ignored only serve to undermine general respect for the law. It is better to try to enforce rules that most sensible people support.
Many ancient pictures show a close relationship between hunting/guard dogs and their Arab owners. Is this a new ‘correctness’ that treats other creatures as unclean monsters while forgetting the long tradition of a relationship of trust between humans and dogs as obedient, useful and loyal companions? Should dogs suffer cruelty because some of us are ignorant and afraid?

Anonymous said...

I have to confess to being a regular transgressor of the "no dogs" rule, which really does seem silly. Our dog is a puffball of less than six kilos and is always on a leash unless we are way out of town beyond Yiti or somewhere similar.

One argument I've heard - that dogs leave too much waste - doesn't really jibe with the ubiquitous presence of horses, ROP and otherwise, on the beach. I've never seen a rider clean up after their horse as I do our dog!

And the only time anyone has objected was last fall - and it was a couple of kids in a truck. On the beach. I guess we were both equal-opportunity violators...

Anonymous said...

The curt and blunt answer is: "Welcome to Oman. The overwhelming majority don't keep dogs as pets, and are intimidated (to varying degrees) by their presence."

Expatriate pet owners may feel the rule is "silly" or "not sensible" from their cultural perspective. However it remains a minority view that potentially runs against Omani social etiquette concerning presence of domestic dogs in public places.

One may invoke the centuries old association between nomadic arabs and their salukis. However, trying to project that onto the omani tradition, especially that of the settled populations, is largely false romanticism. Prior to pet shops arriving in town, it was stray or feral dogs that one was more likely to encounter. And more so around wadis and mountains than beaches.

Personally, I'm indifferent. From a collective cultural perspective, however, I respect the motivation behind the no dog rule... inasmuch as I respect that preparing eid shuwa in Hyde Park or Central Park is considered unacceptable and unlawful.

Unknown said...