Monday, May 4, 2015

Camels in the Emirates: The Ship Turned Champ.

Camels in the Emirates: The Ship Turned Champ. Hardcover book with pictorial boards (no dust jacket) published by Camel Race Association, Abu Dhabi (no date), 101 pages with colour photographs.

I've never raced a camel and i've never eaten one... at least not a whole one. I have ridden camels* and have slept under the stars with camels farting and belching not far enough away from where I was trying to sleep. Overall the experience which was of a touristic nature, was great fun and something I have done more than once whilst backpacking and would happily do again. Whilst on my travels I was once asked if I wanted to split the purchase of a camel and cart and travel across India to Nepal, living on the road with the camel and the cart. I politely declined once I realised that realistically an Australian and a German backpacker travelling at camel pace along Indian roads was a one way ticket to complete disaster.

So here we are many years later and I find a book on a completely different aspect of the camel. Having some sort of an appreciation for the ship of the desert, I didn't hesitate in picking up this fine volume. The book is very much a propaganda tool of the Camel Racing Association of Abu Dhabi, which I guess is understandable as they did write and publish the book, so there is no reason for them to write about any 'issues' that some people may have regarding the racing of camels**. We have camel racing here in Australia, but I do believe the Abu Dhabi Camel Racing Association takes the whole camel racing thing a little more seriously than we do. If you're into camels or camel racing (and who isn't?) then you can't get much better than this book.

*Dromedary... and yes, more than one.

** For some reason I seem to remember some scandal regarding very young boys hired to race camels for very little reward and even less benefits. Interestingly and rather unsurprisingly, this book doesn't go into the welfare of camel jockeys.  

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