IN THE ARABIC LANGUAGE, THERE ARE MORE THAN 100 WORDS FOR THE DESIGNATION OF A camel: THE BEDUINS CONSIDER IT THE MOST GRACIOUS ANIMAL AND NAME THE “GIFT OF ALLAH”.
Camels were used on the famous path of incense merchants, which lay in ancient times in Western Arabia.
IN OUR TIME, “DESERT SHIPS” CONTINUE TO REMAIN WITH THE SYMBOL OF NOT ONLY THE GREAT HERITAGE, BUT AND THE MATERIAL WELL-BEING OF OWNERS. THEY ARE BUYED AND SELLED FOR MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, AND THE VICTORY OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL REPRESENTATIVES OF THEIR TYPE IN BEAUTIES OR BEAUTY COMPETITIONS GUARANTEES THOSE BREEDERS ARE VERY GOOD.
Text: Natalia Remmer Nikolay Gudalov, master of international relations, specialist in the history and politics of Arab countries
Nature and history have decreed that the traces of people and their hunchbacked helpers have been intertwined for centuries on desert sands. For centuries, the distinction between “noble” Arabian tribes and “noble” tribes has been preserved: only those who bred camels deep in the desert were considered true Bedouins. Actually, a synonym for the word “Bedouins” is “people of camels” (Ahl al Jamal). Unlike semi-nomadic tribes and urban dwellers, the life of "desert aristocrats" depended entirely on this amazing animal. In Arabia, one-humped camels are common - dromedaries. They are not as massive and strong as the two-humped (Bactrians), but they are faster-footed and - say the Arabs - certainly more beautiful. The camel is deservedly called the "gift of Allah." Only a camel allowed the Bedouins to roam, and merchants - to transport goods through waterless sands. One “desert ship” is capable of carrying up to a quarter ton of cargo.
Camels were used on the famous path of incense merchants, which lay in ancient times in Western Arabia. If necessary, the Arabs quenched their thirst with the milk of their companion, took shelter from the desert winds behind his body, and escaped heat from him: the temperature of a camel is lower than the hot air. A camel is able to store up to 200 liters of water in the stomach, which allows it to do without liquid for up to six months, in the presence of fresh grass. Camels save the maximum amount of liquid: for example, they are not able to sweat even in extreme heat, under the scorching Arabian sun. In addition, “desert ships” can drink water thirteen times more salty than humans! The "commercial" use of camels was also that the Bedouins sold or exchanged them for all necessary goods that were not in the desert: the camel was a real "hard currency." They were also leased to the inhabitants of the oases. Camels went to battle.
The so-called “Battle of the Camel” of 656 gained great fame in the history of Islam: its outcome was decided around a red camel, on which the widow of the prophet Muhammad Aish sat on a palanquin. The camel is repeatedly mentioned in the Qur'an. In particular, it is believed that the camel keeps the hundredth name of Allah, told to him by the prophet Muhammad. The number of camels is also a measure of zakat, a tax that Muslims are required to pay annually in favor of the poor. Mentions of camels are constantly found among Arab poets. Charming Arabian proverbs, the "hero" of which is this satellite of the Bedouins. Here is life wisdom (“Hope in God, but tie your camel”, “If a camel puts his nose into the tent once, his whole body will soon be there”), and philosophy (“Death is the black camel that lies at each door. Sooner or later you will have to sit on it "), and the great value of a camel (" If you love, love the moon, if you steal - steal a camel "). By the way, camels were tied with a special rope - ikal, which at the same time forms part of the Emirate’s traditional costume: Arabs fasten the headdress with it.
Elixir of Nomads
Arabs believe that camel milk warms in the winter and refreshes in the summer. At the Al Ain Dairy farm, 500 camels live in comfortable conditions: they get on a machine milking three times a day and give the country about 3,000 liters of healthy milk per day. “Desert Ships” here are far from all Arabians: there are immigrants from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. Local "producers", by the way, need to go through a very strict qualification to become a supplier of milk, which the Emirates consume up to four million liters per year. The consumer, perhaps, has two main prejudices about camel milk: it is oily and has a specific smell. In fact, in its composition, it is much more useful than cow's: for example, it lowers the content of fats and cholesterol, contains lactoferrin, which increases immunity, natural insulin and a large amount of minerals, including sodium, magnesium, potassium and iodine. Emirates also pay great attention to partitioning. So, on the Abu Dhabi-Sveikhan highway, there is a unique camel breeding center Advance Scientific Group, where embryos are transplanted to improve the breed. If an adult camel is capable of carrying one cub per year, then advanced technology allows producing up to 25 champions a year. Local farmers are happy to provide the center of their camels for surrogacy. In total, there are about 2,000 camels in the center today.
Race for generosity
Today, in the territory of the Emirates, a camel takes pride of place among national symbols, is honored and respected, and its cost sometimes exceeds the cost of a sports car or light-engine aircraft. So, in 2008, one of the sheikhs of the ruling Abu Dhabi family purchased a camel named Mabrukan from the Asail breed (Indigenous) for US $ 4 million, and earlier that year, sheikh Hamdan bin Muhammad bin Rashid Al set a price record Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai, acquired a camel for US $ 2.7 million. The camel race season falls on the cooler season, from September to March. Tracks for races are in all emirates, with the exception of rocky Fujairah. In Sharjah, the track is located in the Al Dhaid area, in Ajman in Al Tallah, and in Umm al-Quwain in Al Libsah. The key role for the race is the origin of the camels. As a rule, races are held in three categories: among Sudanese, Omani and local runners (Al Najdi), as well as half-breed hybrids. In total, there are about 14 thousand professional sprinters in the United Arab Emirates. They can have any names - from the owner company to the name of their favorite football team. They begin to train riders from the first year of life, as a rule, releasing them into a pen along with adults at a distance of three to six kilometers. From 15 to 200 runners take part in the competition. The speed of the camel participating in the race can reach 4045 km / h. The hosts ride jeeps along the track, watching the exploits of their pets. Instead of live riders, light robots are used in radio control. The finish is fixed by cameras.
WHERE TO SEE THE CAMEL RUNS IN THE UAE:
- Al Watba, 40 minutes south of downtown Abu Dhabi
Here, VIP camels compete for the most valuable prizes - about 300 representatives of the name Al Gharbia, named after the eastern district of Abu Dhabi.
How to get there: from the island of Abu Dhabi, on the E22 highway to the Makta bridge and further south on the E30 highway.
- Xuan, 20 minutes south of Ras Al Khaimah
Here, camels of the Shahin type, exuding saffron aroma, are among the most famous runners and champions in the UAE.
How to get there: south along the E18 highway towards Ras Al Khaimah Airport, turn right 2 km after Saqr Park, then go southwest.
- Sveikhan, an hour's drive from downtown Abu Dhabi
In this legendary place, camels Hazy and Nassi compete. In addition, Advance Scientific Group, a modern camel breeding center, is located along the way.
How to get there: from Abu Dhabi along the E20 highway to the south, turn north onto the E16 highway and drive about 4 km to the track itself.
- Marmun, 30 minutes south of Dubai
This track is the brainchild of Sheikh Hamdan bin Muhammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai and the patron of sports. Vasali competes on it, perhaps not the fastest camels in the world, but races with them invariably attract a large number of spectators.
How to get there: along the E66 highway south of the Nad Al Sheba area, then about 6 km along the E77
Before the 2014 running season ends, the Emirates will be waiting for an even more original spectacle with the participation of the same humpbacked hero. One American billionaire, wanting to demonstrate the natural dexterity and agility of a camel, and in the future to organize a desert Olympics, decided to arrange a camel ... sandboarding competition! April 1, on April Fool's Day, camels will ride down the sand on huge boards at speeds of up to 110 km / h. One company has already taken an order to create such boards from dining tables, which instead of legs will be equipped with leather straps that fix the hooves of four-legged “sandboarders”. Camels will have sun caps and goggles, as well as Hawaiian-style shorts. Spectators will probably receive a charge of good mood, and the winner will also receive 5 million dirhams along with a titanium figure of a camel on a gold sandboard.
Collectively, camels are called "ibil", a camel without sex is called "bair", a male is called "jamal", a female is called "naka". Especially the Bedouins love "nak": if the males are vigorous, then the females are affectionate with the owner. "Nakoy" a camel is called only from the age of six - before that, every year she is given different nicknames. The word “jamal” influenced the English “camel” and the French “chamo”. Saying “Jamal” and pointing to the camel, you will not be mistaken with the stress: if you emphasize the first “a”, you will get a “camel”, but if you emphasize the second - the word “beauty”. In both cases, the Arab will agree with you ...