Becks, I live in the Middle East, too....Kuwait specificially....and I have to say that the culture is quite different in its view of pets. I'm accustomed to the western world where we treat animals like family, and if you notice a stray cat or dog you do everything you can to make sure it is healthy and fed...and then taken to a shelter.
Overall, what I've seen here is SO different than my background. Stray cats and dogs are everywhere and there's no government-run program in place to humanely address this (fix + release programs, government-funded shelters, etc). The grunt work in dealing with feral cats + dogs is done by two small shelters...both are 100% privately funded from what I've read, rely mostly on volunteers and seem to struggle to stay afloat.
There's a high rate of animal abuse, and until recently the government's strategy in dealing with strays was to spread poison in public areas in attempt to kill stray dogs and cats. It's really quite heartbreaking. I've lived here for 8 months, taken care of 20+ strays...and I don't think I'll ever be prepared for some of the things I see and hear in regards to animal treatment here.
Definitely don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but just want to prepare you for that should you study abroad. Perhaps this mentality doesn't ring true in other Middle Eastern countries but it's what I've observed here.
On the flip side, there are many, many people here who have a passion for taking care of strays and finding them forever families! So, should you happen to find yourself in Kuwait, know that your passion for animals will be welcomed by many (PAWS + K's Path shelter) and there's plenty of work to be done here.