Um Ruqaiba camel pageant winners awarded prizes

Updated 05 January 2013

Um Ruqaiba camel pageant winners awarded prizes

Prince Mishaal, chairman of the Allegiance Council, yesterday distributed King Abdul Aziz prize to the top winners of a major camel pageant at Um Ruqaiba, a desert area 350 km northeast of Riyadh.
Addressing the concluding ceremony, Prince Mishaal thanked God for the quick recovery of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah following a back surgery. “It marks a festival for Saudis,” he added.
About 16,500 camels from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries took part in the event, one of the region’s largest camel beauty contests.
Speaking at the ceremony, Prince Saud bin Mishaal, vice chairman of the organizing committee, thanked Prince Mishaal for gracing the occasion.
He commended Prince Mishaal’s continuous support to the contest. “This is one of the major annual festivals in the Kingdom,” he said. “Thanks to the wide media coverage, the whole world now knows about this camel pageant,” the vice chairman said.
He praised camel owners in the Gulf countries for showing keen interest in the pageant.
Organizers said 16,539 male and female camels had been booked for the contest, which attracted camel owners from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar.
Around 393 camel owners from Saudi Arabia are taking part in the event while there are five from the UAE, 36 from Kuwait and 26 from Qatar, said Prince Saud.
Thousands of people, including a large number of expatriates, flocked to Um Ruqaiba every day to watch the contest while deals worth hundreds of millions of riyals involving sales of camels were conducted every day.
Besides camels, a massive bazaar was held with the setting up of restaurants and furnished tents for the participants and guests. The camel beauty pageant was once a local desert custom that has now transformed into a competition, which is worth millions of Saudi riyals in prizes, and can transform the camel owners into celebrities. Both male and female camels participate in the pageant where a camel’s beauty is assessed based on “the size of its head; whether its lips cover its teeth, the length of its neck and the roundness of its hump.”
Saudi Arabia has about 870,000 camels while the UAE has nearly 378,000 and Oman 124,000. The camel wealth is much smaller in Kuwait and Qatar.

Lebanese actress Nadine Njeim undergoes 6-hour surgery after Beirut explosion 

Updated 35 min 27 sec ago

Lebanese actress Nadine Njeim undergoes 6-hour surgery after Beirut explosion 

DUBAI: Lebanese actress Nadine Nassib Njeim revealed on Instagram that she underwent a six-hour surgery after a massive explosion ripped through Beirut on Tuesday, killing over 100 people and injuring thousands. 

“Half my face and my body were covered in blood,” said Njeim, who lives close to the port area where the explosion happened, captioning a video – shot by someone else – of her damaged apartment.

“I thank God first, who saved my life. The explosion was close, and the scenes you see do not do it justice. If you visit the house and see the blood everywhere, you would be surprised as to how we are still alive,” the star, who has two children, wrote captioning the clip that shows shattered glass, cracked walls and broken furniture strewn all over her living room.

According to her post, the star went down 22 floors, barefoot and covered in blood and sought help from a man who was in his car. 

“He dropped me to the nearest hospital, but they refused to admit me because they were packed with wounded people,” she said. “He dropped me to another hospital where they immediately took me in and I underwent a six-hour operation.” 

The 36-year-old actress said her children were not home and are “fine and safe.”

Multiple Lebanese celebrities have also taken to social media to share videos of their destroyed homes. 

Singer Haifa Wehbe shared, on her Instagram Stories, clips of the destruction that ravaged her home. “We are all okay thank God. My house is next to the explosion,” she wrote to her followers before asking them to keep her house helper, who got injured in her head and eyes, in their prayers.

Clips circulated on social media of Lebanese fashion designer Dalida Ayach, who is also the wife of singer Ramy Ayach, in the hospital being treated for her injuries. 

Singer Elissa, who recently released a new album, took to Twitter to share pictures of the aftermath of the explosion. “It affected the metals and the properties this time, but who will bring back the dead? Who will bring back Beirut?” the star wrote.

Singer Ragheb Alama’s house also got destroyed, but luckily, he and his family were on a trip outside the city.

The ateliers of renowned Lebanese designers have also been ruined, including Maison Rabih Kayrouz and Ralph Masri’s flagship stores.

Taking to his Stories, Kayrouz shared videos of the damage caused by the explosion to his atelier. “Our courageous team trying to save… what could be saved!” the designer captioned one clip of one of the atelier workers pulling out clothing from the debris.