Prized pigeons are big attraction at Madinah market

A pair of Al-Zaim pigeons up of sale in Madinah's bird market.
Updated 27 December 2017

Prized pigeons are big attraction at Madinah market

MADINAH: During a tour of the bird market in Madinah, you see all kinds and shapes of pigeons from across the world.
Talaat Hamza Zakour, a pigeon breeder, told Arab News that the hobby of keeping birds has occupied him since his childhood.
“At first I did not know the types of pigeons but with the passage of time I got to know them, and that each one has a different advantage. The homing pigeon is considered the ‘best’ of its kind and the price of a single pigeon may reach more than SR100,000 ($26,666).”
He also said that homing pigeons “are rare in Madinah because no competitions are organized here. There is an association for pigeons in Madinah, but it is ineffective and no one goes to it.”
Zakour said: “Fancy pigeons come next. These birds are known by different names including the Kuwaiti, Butterfly, Mango, Turkish and Mookee pigeon and their price sometimes reaches SR2,000 each. The price of the Jacobin pigeon reaches up to SR6,000, the Sudanese pigeon is worth SR3,000, the Syrian pigeon SR800, English pigeon SR4,000 and the Pakistani pigeon is worth SR3,000.”
According to Zakour, there is a special Turkish breed that can fetch up to SR40,000, but the homing pigeons are considered the most expensive.
Zakour pointed out there is a kind of pigeon called “Al-Zaeem” meaning “the leader.” It is, he said, very popular among amateurs and is also priced at SR40,000.
“It is called the ‘leader’ because it leads the flock of pigeons and has a distinct color and shape,” he said, adding that pigeons need health care, attention and time.
Ahmed Nour, an owner of a pet shop, told Arab News that “the interest in pigeon breeding has diminished as a result of people’s preoccupation with other things, and modern technology has made many people refrain from keeping and caring for them.”


Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (AP)
Updated 20 October 2020

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

JEDDAH: Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday said the Kingdom will procure vaccine for the novel coronavirus once it is confirmed to be safe and effective.

He said research on the vaccine is underway in a number of countries and the Saudi health authorities are following the developments.
The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to decline in the Kingdom with the recovery rate from the illness rising to 96 percent. The minister attributed the decline on the “commitment to health precautions.”
“I also thank my fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts,” Al-Rabiah said.
Commenting on the second and stronger wave of COVID-19 in some countries, he said it was due to a lack of “commitment to social distancing” and failure to wear masks and taking other precautions.
He ruled out any leniency on part of the government in its fight against the virus. The minister said it is necessary to abide by precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.

FASTFACTS

• Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday.

• With 16 new fatalities, the virus-related death toll has risen to 5,201.

“We (all) are in one boat, and the failure of some affects everyone, so we must work together” to check the spread of the virus.
He also advised people who show COVID-19 symptoms to visit Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
“Appointments can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app, and anyone who has any questions or wants to consult a doctor can call 937,” the minister said.
Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday. The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 348,583 since the beginning of the outbreak in the Kingdom.
The Health Ministry said 16 more people died due to complications caused by the virus raising the death toll to 5,201. The ministry also reported 357 new recoveries. The total number of recovered cases has now increased to 328,895.