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Brunei
Sunday, January 29, 2023
22.9 C
Brunei
Sunday, January 29, 2023
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    Camel pageant is among World Cup’s sidelines attractions

    ASH-SHAHANIYAH, QATAR (AP) – Like all good pageant contestants, Nazaa’a displayed not only dazzling beauty but also poise and grace.

    She batted her eyelashes and flashed a toothy smile for the television cameras at the Mzayen World Cup, a pageant held in the Qatari desert about 25 kilometres away from Doha and football’s World Cup.

    Nazaa’a, mind you, is a camel. Think Westminster Dog Show crossed with the Miss America Pageant, except for, well, camels.

    Nazaa’a is a majestic light-haired creature that overcame several preliminary rounds and hundreds of other camels to win the pageant at Qatar Camel Mzayen Club on Friday.

    The event, which was designed to bring cultural awareness to World Cup visitors, was sponsored by the Ministry of Sports and Youth, in conjunction with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the local World Cup organising committee.

    Nazaa’a was one of 15 camels who competed for the crown, parading by fans while wearing bejewelled collars and draped with strings of gemstones.

    A member of the AlKuwari family shows the trophy after winning the first prize at the Mzayen World Cup. PHOTO: AP

    “I thought our camel was better than Ronaldo and Messi,” joked Jassim al Kuwari, part of the family that owns Nazaa’a. These events are held regularly throughout the Middle East, where the people have connected with camels for generations.

    “This is our culture. This is from long time ago, from our fathers and grandfathers,” Al Kuwari said.

    “Today is a competition, a beauty competition. We like these camels. We give them names. It’s like a family.”

    Visitors were greeted by a camel jingle “Welcome to the Camel Competition” and served Karak, a spiced tea with milk.

    Owners and their families sat in an air-conditioned luxury tent with red velvet chairs and a glass wall to watch the competition. The main attraction were the pure-bred female camels.

    Competitors make several passes in front of a stand of fans that cheer for their favourite.

    There’s also a milking competition, with the prize going to the camel that produces the most milk.

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