10 October, 2008

Sammy the Shark

While I am still in Los Angeles, I have been reading the UAE news online.

I really think the current "Save Sammy" campaign is fantastic. The issue itself, keeping an endangered animal captive in violation of CITES, is a slap in the face to the UAE Federal Govt.

Yes it's true that there are certainly other important things to address in the UAE, like the rights of laborers. However, when a high profile establishment like Atlantis is allowed to openly defy an initiative that the Federal Govt. signed on with, the message it sends is not good. The whole idea of protecting endangered animals is so that we can keep them from becoming extinct. One could argue, "If Atlantis can do this, why can't I?" and before you know it people don't pay attention to what CITES initiative is working to accomplish.

However, I think the really fantastic bit of this is, that the public is getting involved with the campaign. Social conscience has long been a part of America's history. Americans have openly railed against our government, big business and other groups they felt were not leaving a positive contribution. This freedom of expression is protected by law. I won't deny that there have been abuses of this, but the concept of freedom of expression is a positive one. Taken to the extreme, California is one of the states that has something to say publicly about just about everything!

Even though the laws are different in the UAE, most Nationals I have met are just as vocal in what they believe and just as concerned about current issues. However, it appears that it is not their custom to voice these opinions openly (but that is changing with some of the talented Emirati bloggers) The people who are wearing the "Save Sammy" buttons are in reality, staging a polite protest and expressing their social conscience, and Gulf News posting their photos is giving this campaign legitimacy.

Hopefully, Atlantis decides to do something sooner than later because of the negative press and releases Sammy, or the Federal Govt. intervenes.

Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction.- Albert Einstein

Gulf News


Abu Dhabi Blogger said...

Soul-less jungles of concrete are one thing, incarcerating an animal bordering extinction is another. It is utterly vile that the Atlantis decided to do this just to oblige the vulgar whims of its stinkingly rich guests.

BuJassem said...

While I am still in Los Angeles, I have been reading the UAE news online.

Hmmm, it's a bit like saying "when I drive my car, I sit inside before I drive off".

Sheikha M. said...

But I'm in LA...won't be back in AD until Nov.

Anonymous said...

:) I love my Free Sammy badge from gulf news
And I love the quote. So, so true.

rosh said...

True Dana. 30 yrs, sorta time they got something right :p Free that Shark, throw in a few bankers/realtors in there instead.

Seabee said...

The way the hotel has mishandled the PR is interesting too. Local radio and the press are all over it, there's a big campaign to free the animal, but the hotel says nothing. Now the International Herald Tribune has run the Associated Press story, which includes: "Representatives of Atlantis resort, which is located on a man-made island built in the shape of a palm tree, did not return calls to the AP on Thursday. They also did not respond to AP's request to speak to one of the marine specialists the hotel says monitors the whale shark around the clock."

'Ignore it and it'll go away' is a PR approach that never works.

akash said...

Sammy the Shark - A ture story on Humans Using Aminals for their own Benefits, One Catchs it ands Shows 2 World and Other Tries 2 Free It. Both want 2 get Pubilicity Frm it. ( Even Free Sammy Batch Has Gulf News Written over it). 1st of all Whale Sharks are not on endagered Animal list( not yet) as potraid by GN. 2nd it wasnt captured rather rescued. Only reason Sammy(GN Name) Should be freed is cuz its huge animal and needs bigger place in Few months tym. The best place is open Sea but not until shez ready 4 it. Rite now i can only say is Leave The Shark Alone And stop using these creatures for own pubilicity.

Rose in Dubai said...

Akash - who says the shark was rescued? Oh yes, those lovely people at the hotel. And we can believe everything they say can't we?

Do you work for them?

Kyle said...

Sheikha M said:

Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction.- Albert Einstein

Historically and based on what I've heard/read, the genius part just about sums up the founding fathers of this country. It's not even worth the effort addressing that (kinky) bit about fool/bigger/complex/violent if you can dig what I mean!

As for Sammy, apply the bird logic. Leave the cage door open so that the bird can fly back in!

i*maginate said...

It's a fish, for heaven's sake.

Trevor J D'silva said...

Well....true Atlantis is playin their cards very harsh now...too much....and yeah,looking at one hand where you got high rise buildings and people spending money like they got a gold mine...some like to take in a shark and put it in a pond!Why don't we put them in the whale's own belly!!!

Save Sammy said...

Its not just a fish.
It is endangered.
u dnt semm 2 give a damn.
well go to hell!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

True the shark had no say in ending up where it is as the tacky object of animal porn to fools with too much money and not enough imagination - Las Vegas @ 1965 perhaps??? However, couldn't GN do something more useful and perhaps have a campaign for relatively decent working conditions for the saps who end up building and occasionally falling off construction sites? As the woman says, it's only a fish.

Mohammed UK said...

Now on the BBC news website


Dave said...

Yes i support to free the sammy the shark from the bath tub of Atlantis, she must go into the open sea and live free.

Also I would bring everyones eye to the other animals in need. The land of prosperity, highest buildings and world iconic landmarks does not have land space for the animals at Dubai Zoo. Established in a residential area, the municipality has managed the zoo since 1971. These animals are in need to of our support and help. For years govt authorities has put the blanket of false promises to relocate them to a better environment and more space. Despite the media bringing the plite of animals into light, they continue to live in cramped conditions. Truly a dark spot on the face of developing nation.

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