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10 August, 2006

Strange neighbours

What need of premium hi-fi equipment and ipods, or expensive pop concert tickets, when a regular performance of tone-deaf Frank Sinatra karaoke wails down from the cell above?

The unseen, unmusical inmates are a mysterious lot. When they are not engaging in what sounds suspiciously like carpentry (at least twice a week) or moving furniture at 3am (at least thrice a week) their very unlovely night-time concerts begin.

But it could be worse. Pity the poor neighbours of this vile, inhumane individual who has imported five lion cubs and a cheetah, ripped out their claws and filed down their teeth, and is keeping them cooped up in a one-bedroom flat in tiny cages:

He said the big cats were not for sale. "From childhood I have loved animals and I have always collected them. I cannot sell them and it is very difficult to find buyers anyway. I keep them for myself," he said, unable to tell Gulf News how much a cub costs.

So don't import them in the first place, you selfish cretin. There are plenty of homeless, tame animals to adopt. Go and visit the big cats in the Sharjah wildlife park, and make a donation to the conservation programme. If these poor, maimed, caged beasts one day rip you to shreds, it will be the least you deserve.

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32 Comments:

Blogger marwan said...

Not to pass the buck, but who the heck allowed him to import them in the first place?

Selfish moron. I hope he has a "God will protect me!" moment.

10 August, 2006 06:31  
Blogger Hatem said...

There are also plenty of homeless, children to adopt, and plenty of homeless people to sponsor, and plenty and plenty...

10 August, 2006 08:41  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Nocturnal carpentry and furniture shifting is not uncommon in Dubai. Fucking weird.

10 August, 2006 10:38  
Anonymous roista said...

Off the topic. You guys gotta see this. Incredible.. http://news.sky.com/skynews/video/videoplayer/0,,31200-galloway_060806,00.html

10 August, 2006 11:36  
Anonymous Sher Khan said...

Can't this horrible man be arrested under CITES? Isn't it íllegal to keep endangered species as pets? Surely there is some law or some tenancy clause that this creep is violating?

10 August, 2006 14:37  
Anonymous roista said...

and if the above link doesnt work, try it here http://youtube.com/watch?v=kbEv0T2rwgo

10 August, 2006 15:20  
Blogger abs_scorp said...

God, just shows why this is the "City of Wonders" - so many questions, so little space ... where did they get these animals, why were they allowed to be kept in the first place, why the landlord didnt kick them out (when bachelors find it difficult to live here, am amazed to se ehow animals are allowed), and most important: How come Gulf News as a protector of public interest didnt take some action, rather than just covering the story to spice up the paper. I thought it is the Media;s responsibility to also deliver justice ???

10 August, 2006 15:51  
Anonymous al_republican said...

The subject today is lions and tigers in captivity. Israel is counting down to the end of its existence in this part of the World. Those lions and tigers ought to be freed.

I believe no Muslim country sould exist in the year 2030; it should all be one contiguous piece of land where there are no boundaries. Ruled by a true representative central body with a single currency and a standard set of laws throughout Islamic lands. It may sound like a dream, but I never claimed to be a realist. I am an idealist in the truest sense of the word. And I firmly believe that we will get to this goal, in sha Allah.

As for the sympathizers of humanity against terror, you all have been exposed for your vested interests for maintaining silence when blood spilled is that of Muslims.

The above was as usual a random comment off topic. Sorry to bother you people, BUT THE TRUTH MUST BE TOLD.

10 August, 2006 16:03  
Blogger ReginaFilangee said...

roista - that was fantastic!

10 August, 2006 17:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Al,

you are getting scarier by the minute. On behalf of everyone, I implore you, take your Ritalin.

Yours sincerely,
Alan.

10 August, 2006 17:57  
Anonymous roista said...

lol... read some of the "I hate you lion keeper" comments on gulfnews... so much hate people have eh? Incredible!!... just for a guy who has a passion and the money... Well, the guy has the money, he loves animals and for all you know, he is a national.. HH Shaikh Mohammed keeps many cubs in his palace... Anyone wanna critisize him?? here is another thing... have you heard of brothels in dubai? they keep women and sell them for a service...

10 August, 2006 18:00  
Anonymous roista said...

Have a look...

http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l296/roista/cub.jpg

10 August, 2006 18:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come Gulf News as a protector of public interest didnt take some action, rather than just covering the story to spice up the paper. I thought it is the Media;s responsibility to also deliver justice ???

Gulf News did take action. By getting into that flat and reporting the story. What else did you want it to do, have the reporter arrest the lionkeeper? A newspaper takes action by getting the news out to the public; by getting it out there so the authorities couldn't possibly ignore it.

10 August, 2006 23:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh and, wow, did Anna and Sky News get a whipping!

10 August, 2006 23:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a look...

http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l296/roista/cub.jpg


That looks like a publicity shot of Born Free - The Musical.

And no, just because I'm being facetious doesn't mean I don't think it's totally wrong.

10 August, 2006 23:26  
Anonymous Sher Khan said...

@ Anonymous 23:13
The Gulf News report was an eye opener. But a job half done. Why didn't Gulf News get a vet to talk to this lionkeeper and explain how he was harming the big cats he professes to love so much?
There was no mention of the laws that this lionkeeper was violating, perhaps because this guy is a powerful person/ UAE national?
There was no mention where this place is, just that it's in the Northern Emirates.
Today's follow-up also doesn't mention whether this cretin will be jailed, just a wishywashy comment from a Minister saying they have to see the place and the permits, if you please, before taking action.
Poor cats.

11 August, 2006 09:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why didn't Gulf News get a vet to talk to this lionkeeper and explain how he was harming the big cats he professes to love so much?

When a newspaper covers a famine, do they send reporters in with loads of lunchboxes to feed everybody they find? When a paper unearths government corruption, do they get a priest to talk to the offending ministers and tell them bribery is wrong? Direct intervention is not a newspaper's job. Getting the news out there is.

There was no mention of the laws that this lionkeeper was violating, perhaps because this guy is a powerful person/ UAE national?

I think the story relied on the fact that pretty much anybody would know this is wrong. Yes, if there are clear UAE laws against it, I agree they should have been mentioned.

There was no mention where this place is, just that it's in the Northern Emirates.

How do you know that the reporter was allowed in only on condition that he/she doesn't give away details? What do you do then? Insist on mentioning the place and risk losing the story?

I think it's a good story because the reporter doesn't get carried away and try and hammer the point home about how cruel this is. Everybody knows it is, the reporter has let the stories and those pictures speak - she's trusted both the story and the reader.

I actually think GN is quite a good paper...

11 August, 2006 11:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

on a completely unrelated topic: i just tried searching for the band pussy cat dolls and got a huge blocking that this site is illegal.

11 August, 2006 12:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad lion story.. but Roista thanks for that link on Sky Tv - great interview.. i didnt know about this politician before but i wish that more western politicians would speak this way!

11 August, 2006 12:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) Glad to see that some posters actually understand the concept of what the journalist's job is, which is to disseminate the news, not act upon it. And even disseminating it can be difficult in this country.
Of course the paper knows exactly where the flat is and authorities know too, but because of the grey area of who the real owner is, the address can't be published. Those asking why the landlord doesn't do something are missing the point; the landlord is the keeper of these animals until they get moved to their final destination.
2) AR; seriously - get a grip, or go and rant on your own blog.
3) Great galloway clip; makes me feel glad I voted for him rather than oona, although still doesn't quite make up for his dancing in a leotard in the big brother house last winter....

11 August, 2006 12:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually think GN is quite a good paper...

On your arse it does.bleached paper is so much cooler than toilet paper.

11 August, 2006 12:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On your arse it does.bleached paper is so much cooler than toilet paper.

Oh come on, within context. I'm not saying I'll take it to a world newspaper forum and pitch it against The Guardian or NYT, but given all the Dubai factors I think that if nothing else, they give it a jolly good try.

11 August, 2006 22:16  
Anonymous al_republican said...

I know the people who largely come here don't care about lions. I have chosen this forum because I feel it is a microcosm of the actual world. I am trying to gain attention, no denying that. But, not for myself, but for mostly lions in Dubai.

Since Dubai has hardly any lions , most people here end up becoming very numb to political realities. To them life is just going to work, going to the bar etc. It is a very individualistic society.

I am hoping to wake you all up to the reality of what is going around us. You guys may not like it, but I feel it is important that people are woken up from this slumber. After all, doesnt this blog often talk about the plight of the downtrodden? Clearly, there is a larger picture-The lions.

11 August, 2006 22:38  
Anonymous Sher Khan said...

@ Anonymous 11.48
Your argument is specious. Because there are any number of times that GN has gotten involved in a cause in a direct way, but only when it has been populist and hasn't involved tangling with the powers that be.
Yes, it is moral for a newspaper to get "involved" when they are reporting on issues where people, or in this case, animals' lives are at risk. (Does Kevin Carter ring a bell?)
When they pay their sources or compromise the truth of a story by selecting to white out inconvenient facts, they are already involved.
The reporter kept talking about the whole sheep that the lions are being fed everyday.
Is that enough? How near death are these cats? How much longer will they stay alive? The story omitted to mention these facts, but just kept harping on the sheep and the fact that this was a temporary residence for the cats.
If she was allowed in only on the condition she should not mention the address, then she should have said so. How do you know that was the reason?
Sorry I believe in this case Gulf News was as toothless and clawless as those poor cats.

12 August, 2006 01:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because there are any number of times that GN has gotten involved in a cause in a direct way, but only when it has been populist and hasn't involved tangling with the powers that be.

Hmmm - it'll be good to have an example.

There are many ways this story could have been reported. But specifically, your suggestion that GN call in a vet to explain things to the lionkeeper shows a basic misunderstanding about the function of a newspaper.

If she was allowed in only on the condition she should not mention the address, then she should have said so. How do you know that was the reason?

I don't, I'm trying to get the point across that the newspaper did its job when it unearthed the story. You ask why it didn't give an address... it also didn't give the name and description of the lionkeeper, the name and visa number of the landlord, the species and blood pressure of the lions and any number of details not really relevant to the story.

What would you do with the address? Go there and stage a protest? Great, but is that what the paper should encourage? A newspaper can't go around dispensing judgement - sadly, it's a case of innocent until proven guilty, even though in this case, the proof is alive and growling.

What about Kevin Carter? Okay, so he'd have helped that one child, and the next, and the next, and the next and suddenly he's no longer a journalist, he's a Red Cross worker. There's nobody to take these pictures out to the world where somebody can do something to help 1,000 children, instead of one or two or ten.

I'm not saying it's an easy choice - and Carter's suicide would suggest it isn't - but it's one being made all the time.

I don't think the reporter "harped on" about the sheep - she mentioned the sheep and to me it made the case stronger because it sounded like the owners were trying to say, "Oh it's okay, we give them a whole sheep" and "it's only temporary".

And as for all the details you wanted (how long they will live etc) - great, you may have done the story better/differently. But be aware the only reason you know about these lions is because GN wrote about it.

12 August, 2006 02:58  
Anonymous Sher Khan said...

By address I don't mean the specific address, so please don't go on the hairsplitting and hyperbole route.
There have been plenty of paralysed maids, people in need of medical help and other humanitarian causes where GN has pitched in by putting them in touch with social organisations, publicising their appeal for help, welcoming donations etc. Or at least that's the impression I get as a reader, if you're working there and know that isn't the case, I stand corrected.
I am not disputing that the story was an eyeopener, only that it was more voyeuristic than relevant, more half baked than sharp.
As a subscriber to the paper and someone who has worked in conservation, I expect that when such stories are done, they need more feeling and less of the moral detachment that you seem to think is such an awesome attribute.
Otherwise, the report is filed, everybody is outraged for a day and then things go back to being the way they were.

12 August, 2006 10:31  
Blogger intestinal blues said...

Bloody weird!

12 August, 2006 11:12  
Blogger Georgia said...

Funny how people in a mixed-sex sharehouse who are all platonic mates can face eviction for "living in sin" even if no sinning is going on, bachelors can struggle to rent a flat, real estate agents can be as racist as they like when showing properties to people but some utter mental bankrupt gets away with keeping a flat full of man-eating wildlife. Insane!

12 August, 2006 15:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sher Khan, I can only advance my argument by banging on about what I've been banging on about. We're essentially standing by our points, so just to say thank you for an argument that doesn't deteriorate into name-calling and rudeness. Do I sound senitmental? I don't care - far too many people descend into "you're an idiot" after just one round of "talks".

12 August, 2006 18:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://news.sky.com/skynews/video/videoplayer/0,,31200-galloway_060806,00.html#

exactly...

12 August, 2006 21:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sher Khan / Anoymous,

A little late in the day maybe, but I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth.

Annoymous, if you ever happen to turn on sky news or BBC world, or pick up a newspaper free from constraints, they do make an effort to put across all sides of the argument to give a full and accurate picture.

The point of having a vet come to the house to examine the lions would illustrate to the readers, and possibly to the owner as well, the medical perspective i.e. what has been done to these animals and how it has likely affected them, and how it will affect them in the future. This is not much to ask, it's basic reporting. There is little point in writing an article saying look at these and this is how much they eat, it doesn't tell us anything apart from showing us how twisted one individual can be.

Someone from the govenment should also have been asked to determine exactly what current legislation is and how on earth this inhumane monster managed to bypass it. Even a phonecall to the ministry asking about regulations without mentioning this particular case would have been interesting.

It is only when journalists have the ability to find out all the details and publish without getting fired that we will ever get the full true story.

29 August, 2006 15:54  
Anonymous Ana Maria said...

I agree

21 September, 2006 12:07  

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