Oman culture: A day in a camel farm

camBy Shruthi Nair : Camels are undeniably one of the most important animals of the Middle East since time immemorial. The ones popularly found in the Arab region are the single humped Dromedary and have been an inevitable part of the Bedouin people’s existence.

From being passenger and luggage carriers, to being used for milk and meat, they still continue to play a very important role especially in this part of the world.

There are a number of people in Oman who realise this and have made sure that their camels, be it racing, pageant or domesticated, are kept in farms where they are bred and fed by their owners. According to me, the best way to get to know about a camel would be to spend some time with them in their “area”.

There are certain mannerisms and behaviours that you will start understanding and falling in love with just by spending a few hours with them. For instance, camels can be a little moody. While some of them are happy to be receiving all the attention, the others just want to be left alone in solitude. Apparently, they are also great at keeping grudges.

If a camel doesn’t like you, they can also kill you. They usually wait for the perfect moment to take revenge (usually when you’re sleeping) and strike the attack. You will also be able to draw a lot of other similarities to human behaviour. But most importantly, a whole day in different camel farms can acquaint you with the ship of the desert and get you to love and respect them.

Abdullah Al Malki’s Farm

A huge farm, situated in Barka, Abdullah Al Malki’s farm is a comfortable environment where tens of camels are bred and fed. The farm is filled with Ghash trees, which the camels love to eat from and is sandy suitable for their padded feet. There is a special enclosure for the beauty camels in his farm where they are given special treatment and prepared for the pageant.

Ahmed Al Mahrouqi’s Farm

Ahmed Al Mahrouqi is an ardent lover of the animals and thus makes it a point that he spends the weekend just with them. His farm is open to whoever wants to see his camels and spend some time with them as he believes that it is important to educate people, especially the young Omanis about the resourcefulness and efficiency of these beautiful creatures. Ahmed trains his camels for long journeys, talks to them and lets visitors feed them and play with them, if they are in the mood.