SHARJAH // Lessons in how to fire a gun and recognise illegal drugs were offered to members of the public by the police and Armed Forces yesterday.
Officers and soldiers turned over their guns to visitors as part of the Ministry of Interior Village show.
"The objective of this training is to teach civilians how to use a gun," said Lt Hareb Ahmed Al Dhanhani, a weapons trainer with the Special Security Force Command. "There is a popular tradition of the Prophet urging everyone to learn to know how to use a weapon. Having this knowledge will help if you need to use a gun one day."
Drugs such as heroin and hashish were also displayed to visitors by officers from the anti-drugs department.
"We want everyone to know what heroin and hashish look like so if they find it in their homes they can help the victims," said Hashim Jasim Mohammed Alwali, from the drugs hazards awareness section.
"Tramadol and chaini khaini have become very popular among youths and students and we are showing parents here what these things look like," he said. "Chaini khaini posses strong nicotine and a child who uses it could easily switch to heroin and hashish. And it is illegal in the UAE."
Anti-drugs officers also answered questions regarding narcotics abuse, handed out brochures and showed videos of the effects of illegal drugs.
Khalid Hussein Al Thabit, a visitor to the village show, held a pistol for the first time in his life.
"When I did shoot the pistol for the first time, it pulled at my hand and the sound gave me some shock," he said. "The trainer told me I had five more bullets to waste but I shot the second one and said it was enough. I can't believe some people live all their lives shooting and shooting and they are fine with it."
Ibrahim Al Arabi, another visitor, said he was surprised the ministry was offering free shooting lessons.
"I have been to shooting clubs and failed to practice because they charge a lot of money," he said. "This is my chance to try for free."
Officers from the police department, air wing, civil defence, punitive and rehabilitation centres, medical services and crime scene investigators were also in attendance to discuss their work.
Mr Alwali said they have had more than 5,000 visitors to the show since it began its tour. It has already visited Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai. From Sharjah it will travel to Ajman then Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.