They may be man’s best friend to millions around the globe, but in the Islamic world dogs have traditionally been shunned because tradition holds that they are unclean.Jamri said he was encouraged by “a change of mentality” in Oman that has seen a growing interest in dogs for companionship, hunting or to enter into competitions and animal shows.”The dog is no longer an unclean animal,” he said.And their owners “entrust them to us, especially when they go on vacations”.Muslim tradition holds that dogs’ saliva is unclean and could spread disease.Islam “prohibits the ownership of dogs, apart from those used for guarding or hunting,” said Sheikh Ahmed Khashba, the imam of a mosque in the Omani capital.While breeding camels and horses is an ancient tradition in Oman and neighbouring Gulf countries, “raising dogs and cats is new for us in the sultanate,” said Salem al Ghanimi, a customer at a pet store in Muscat.He puts it down to “the tendency of some people to imitate foreigners”.However, many families still avoid keeping dogs because they believe it goes against the teachings of Islam, said Ghanimi.Store manager Mohammed Wassim says younger generations are at the forefront of the new trend of keeping pets. ‘More faithful than humans’ At the PetCare Veterinary Centre, four legged guests undergo daily 15 minute exercise sessions.They range from small chihuahuas to German shepherds and golden retrievers.Hotel rules are strict: a dog cannot check in without a veterinary certificate showing it has had the necessary vaccinations.But with an occupancy rate that often exceeds 95 percent, there is no shortage of guests, said its chief administrator Azzan al Zadlaji.The cost is eight rials ($21) a day for full board, or less if the owner provides the food. Smaller puppies qualify for a discount.The parents of 15 year old student Sultan al Rawahi brought their son’s Dutch shepherd for one month to help him to concentrate on his exams.Sultan Yahia, another Omani, brought his pitbull for training in preparation for competitions.
“The challenge was to make Prohibition’s Repeal and Budweiser’s role in that achievement relevant to people today,” Kalathara explains. “To many, it’s a moment in history class synonymous with speakeasies and gangsters like Capone. But the actual moment is significant because it’s the only time we as a country have amended our constitution to bring back rights taken away by a previous amendment.
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