A UAE-based author's special tribute to the region's most precious animalCulture & Entertainment
- 28 March 2018
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Camels in the UAE. Source: My Salaam
What started out as a personal project has now turned into something bigger for one UAE resident.
Humr An-Na’am is a book that pays tribute to one of the UAE’s most precious animals, the camel. Launched at this year’s Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the book is the brainchild of UAE-based author Aditi Belame Kumar, who wanted to create something as a gift for her veterinarian father.
“Four years ago, my father was making plans to retire, and I wanted to put together a present for him,” Kumar told My Salaam. “Just a story of his life in the UAE, how he came here in 1988 and didn’t even expect to become a camel specialist.”
Born in Bangalore but moving to Al Ain in the 1980s, Aditi explains that her father initially wanted to return to India as he had found it so different.
“A local Emirati family happened to be in need of a veterinarian for the roughly 200 camels living in enclosures on their desert property,” she says in the book. “Camel racing had just begun to gain popularity in the UAE, and racing camels needed special care and attention.” The rest, as they say, is history.
Aditi, 33, started on the book four years ago, but it has transformed from the commemorative gift she had originally planned into a commercial title thanks to the support of Faraj Ali Bin Hamoodah, President and Chairman of Bin Hamoodah Company, whose camels have been cared for by Kumar’s father.
Aditi believes that the book had to become a commercial project so that the world could learn more about camels. Humr An-Na’am, she said, aims to “reclaim the desert’s forgotten titan” and to educate and provide information about the growth of the camel industry in the UAE, particularly camel racing.
The camel is of great importance in Islam and is mentioned in the Holy Quran:
“Do they not look at the Camels, how they are made? And at the Sky, how it is raised high? And at the Mountains, how they are fixed firm? And at the Earth, how it is spread out? Therefore do thou give admonition, for thou art one to admonish.” [Al-Qur’an 88:17–21]
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