Dear Ali: I have just moved to Dubai and have adopted two parrots and a dog. Pet houses in the stores are so expensive, so I would like to build some myself. Any idea on who to contact for help? JB, Dubai
Dear JB: Wow, what timing! I was blessed recently with a new saluki. An animal rescuer friend led me to this poor dog who had been shot in the chest during the last Eid. The doctors were able to remove the bullet and save him. That's where I was able to come in.
I adopted him and took him out to my farm to live. I wanted to build him his own saluki villa, so I've done all of the legwork already. Lucky you! Khaled, a creative guy who has combined his knowledge of pets with his design expertise, has a company called Fekrah, which means "idea". You would be supporting a local business if you were to deal with him since he is an Emirati. You can visit his website, www.fekrahstore.com, or call him at 050 887 7404. Tell him that Ali from Ask Ali says: "Wassup?"
We decided to build a one-bedroom, air-conditioned saluki house, even though salukis don't mind the heat. Go to my Facebook fan page and take a look at it. The house is portable, and for what I paid the quality is just perfect. Khaled can paint such a house any way you like, JB. By the way, the saluki's name is Sal, although I'm thinking of changing it to Bullet. He is doing very well and is enjoying the company of 50 goats, 80 chicks and chickens, innumerable rabbits and my horse, Pegasus.
Dear Ali: Marhaba! Can you suggest a place where I can take jiu jitsu classes in or near Abu Dhabi, and would they welcome a female in these sports? AJ, Abu Dhabi
Dear AJ: I don't know a specific club since there are few that exist. However, the sport is growing, which means there are more opening every year. Yes, women are welcomed in this sport and there are clubs that offer training for women as well. Women are welcome to fight in our country, AJ, but then that's natural to them, eh?
You may contact and visit the Abu Dhabi Country Club, since it offers various options of gym activities, along with combat clubs, and self-defence programmes. I would also advise you to contact the main organisation for jiu jitsu in Abu Dhabi at the following address: www.emiratesjiujitsu.com Also you may visit the Abu Dhabi Golf and Equestrian Club and its website www.adec-web.com, as some of the trainings also take place there.
Being a woman doesn't prevent you from being a fighter or wanting to defend yourself just as men do, AJ, so it's completely fine to register for these activities as a woman. It's even better if you can go with some of your female friends to create your own group and have your own sessions privately. Again, getting into such a sport requires an openness to train with men as they are the main experts in this field and from time to time it's good to learn from them. The cultural sensitivity in this comes when a man will have to touch or hold you to show you a move. If you're open about this, then of course it's OK and I believe most of the time there will be a female trainer who is an expert present, too.
Arabic: Elbait baitak
English: My home is your home
We say this to visitors when we want to make them feel comfortable and break them out of their shyness: “Hey, Ali, I’m coming to Abu Dhabi today from Dubai. Can I stop by your house later this evening?” “Of course, my brother-in-law, elbait baitak, come over anytime.” The phrase can be used with strangers as long as you are OK with them coming to your house.