During the Ford Focus Raba’a Rally prss launch, Arab Motors TV was there to interview us all, and this was their report.
Back in February, I was asked to take part in an interesting marketing campaign to help promote the new Ford Focus. The whole campaign was going to be run online, and not through traditional media channels. 6 personalities, one from each GCC country was asked to take part, and I was asked to represent Oman.
We spent a day at the F1 track in Abu Dhabi, doing photo shoots, filming, and racing the cars! And this is the result…
As part of my fund raising for walking to the North Pole, ICAP agreed to donate BHD 12,000 to worthy causes. Kevan Riley and I decided to split that amount between 3 charities that were close to our hearts.
So, BHD 4,000 each was allocated to the Palm Association, Bahrain Mobility International, and the BSCPA.
The BSPCA stands for the Bahrain Society for Protection of Cruelty to Animals, and unfortunately, they receive far too little official recognition or funding, and far too much work. Most of their cases are dogs, and unfortunately, because dogs are considered unclean by Muslims, in general they are neglected and most of the time a blind eye is turned to abuse.
Another handicap the BSPCA operate under, is that they come a poor second to human charities. Even whilst drawing up the check, one of the local staff critiqued, that if ICAP were giving that amount to animals, then how much were they giving to humans. And this is a fair point. All things in their correct proportion, and humans should always come first. But I believe that in tandem with the correct proportion, we should also factor in need. I support this charity because so few people do, and so they need what little support they get.
In answer to the staff members question, he was handed a leaflet showing the cases of abuse that the BSPCA had to deal with this month, and it soon quietened his objections. It is a horrific catalogue of dogs set on fire, shot, starved, beaten, blinded, and maimed…and that’s just the dogs! Fortunately, the cases of abuse for cats and horses are, in comparison, few and far between.
A corollary to the humans versus animals point is that even when executives are sympathetic to the plight of the animals, they are too afraid to sanction a donation because of the back lash of donating to animals instead of humans.
Finally, the BSPCA has an internal dilemma that divides its supporters, and that is euthanasia. Animal lovers can be very partisan, and so one camp refuses to countenance putting down animals on moral grounds, and the other half probably agree, but on practical grounds, with limited space and no money believe that is the best choice available.
Me? I don’t want to get involved in the rights and wrongs, and I don’t even really like dogs, but I hate what is being done to them, so I am big supporter of anyone who can treat them with some humanity.
It does what it says on the tin, but have a look at the site, and you will see that I have been given a mention on the main page!
As part of my comittment to Nawras, I readily agreed to donate blood on film to try and encourage others to do the same. I have given blood quite often, ever since university, but have never searched out a blood bank, just given blood if the opportunity arose.
With all the concerns about AIDS/HIV and other communicable diseases, I had to fill in a form before donating. Most of the questions were straight forward, but I had to pause when I came across a question that asked if I had ever paid for sex… The truth is, one way or another we all pay for it, whether it be financially, emotionally, or otherwise, and it could be argued that marriage is just a form of legalised payment for sex…but not in front of my parents obviously!
Anyway, it turned out they were just looking for a YES or NO answer, which simplified my response 😉
Later on in the same form, it asked whether I had ever had sex with someone who had sex for money of drugs. I had to pause as it seemed to be the same question as before… though there was a very subtle difference to the previous question. In addition, the poor syntax made me laugh and I think it had probably been translated directly from the Arabic… A clearer translation would have asked if I had ever had sex with a hooker or a crack whore…but that might not have translated so well into Arabic.
Either way, amusing myself with the forms helped take my mind off the actual giving blood and insertion of needles. Despite it not really hurting, I always find it slightly stressful as I hate needles, and the thought of a needle inside me, possibly cutting up the inside of my viens and destroying my arm gives me an askward feeling. However, I have done it so often I am now actually brave enough to look as they insert the needle and watch the blood drain…who are you going to believe? Me or the photos?
Before I got on stage and talked, my sister got up and sang a song she wrote, which will hopefully be in an album soon!
The song is called “Coming Home” and she said she would change one of the chorus lines to say “…seen the arctic snow…” just for me!