Friday, April 27, 2007

Miss camel beauty contest

GUWEI'IYYA: The legs are long, the eyes are big, the bodies curvaceous.

Contestants in this Saudi-style beauty pageant have all the features you might expect anywhere else in the world, but with one crucial difference – the competitors are camels.

This week, the Qahtani tribe of western Saudi Arabia has been welcoming entrants to its Mazayen al-Ibl competition, a parade of the "most beautiful camels" in the desolate desert region of Guwei'iyya, 75 miles west of Riyadh.

"In Lebanon they have Miss Lebanon," jokes Walid, moderator of the competition's website. "Here we have Miss Camel."

While tremendous oil wealth has brought rapid modernisation to the desert state of Saudi Arabia, the camel remains celebrated as a symbol of the traditional nomadic lifestyle of Bedouin Arabs.

Throughout history camels have served multiple purposes as food, friend, transport and war machine. They were key to the Arab conquests of the Middle East and North Africa nearly 1,400 years ago that brought Islam to the world.

Camels are also big business in a country where strict Islamic laws and tribal customs would make it impossible for women to take part in their own beauty contest.


Debbie said...

Camel contest, I like it!

I was going to type now tell them to stop blowing everything up.

But I stopped, and corrected myself, and will let's just try and get ALL of our governments to stop blowing things up.

Rodney King is a Saint, Can't we all just get along?

dom said...

They decided on camels because a miss Saudi contest woulda been too hard to judge through the burqa's