Sunday February 19, 2017 was an unseasonably warm day and frankly an exhilarating relief from the past couple of months of bitter cold and very rough storms across Lebanon. Consequently, approximately two thousand Syrian refugees, roughly two-thirds being children from all of Syria's 14 governorates, from Daraa in the Southwest to al-Hasaka in the Northeast, enjoyed Aleppo Park last weekend
Meals for Syrian Refugee Children: Lebanon (MSCRL) is thrilled to have been able to arrange for what will hopefully be a regular water delivery to the park. Scores of containers were filled from the truck shown below. What we need to do now is to acquire a large plastic water tank like what are used around Lebanon on the tops of apartment buildings and fit it with two faucets and attached sink.
Aleppo Park also needs 12 portable toilets""..six for women and six for men.
The above family is from al-Hasaka in far northeastern Syria and has become friends with MSRCL. Many families build campfires and cook a meal often followed with smoking from an argileh (hookah) water pipe. One can imagine the wafting mouth watering smell of lamb meat or chicken being grilled on an open fire in Aleppo Park on a pleasant afternoon .
Last week a neighborhood Sheik who regularly drops by from a nearby Mosque asked MSRCL why we allow dogs into Aleppo Park where they might have contact with children. A couple of other people have also asked.
For we dog lovers its obvious why but it's a fact that plenty of people claim to be bound by Koranic injunctions condemning dogs and the Muslim community is sometimes blamed for abuse, cruelty and/or neglect of animals generally.
Our neighborhood Sheik instructed MSRCL recently that traditionally, dogs have been seen as impure, and the Islamic legal tradition has developed several injunctions that warn Muslims against most contact with dogs. Unfortunately, many Muslims have used this view to justify the abuse and neglect of dogs, even though cruelty contradicts the Qur'an's view that all animals form "communities like you."
The Sheik explained that in the Hadith, which is a collection of traditions containing sayings of the prophet Muhammad, and that along with Muhammad's accounts of his daily practice (the Sunna) constitutes the major source of guidance for Muslims apart from the Koran, dogs are essentially Haram.