Nazaa’a, she’s got it all : The Tribune India

Nazaa’a, she’s got it all

As World Cup rolls on, camel pageant is among sidelines attractions in Qatar

Nazaa’a, she’s got it all

Nazaa’a overcame several preliminary rounds and hundreds of camels to win the pageant at Qatar Camel Mzayen Club. AP



Ash-Shanniya, December 3

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 the 15 camels who competed for the crown, parading by fans while wearing bejewelled collars and draped with strings of gemstones. “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.

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.

Then there’s the money: The winner, runner-up and third-placed camels receive trophies. Nazaa’s owners earned 200,000 Qatari riyals ($55,000). — AP

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