RIYADH: A leading academic researcher has put forward proposals to create an encyclopedia documenting the important and historic role played by camels in Saudi life.
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Dughairy, a professor of literature at Qassim University, made his suggestion during a symposium held in Riyadh on Monday titled, “The Role of Camels in Unifying the Kingdom.”
The conference, staged to mark Saudi National Day, was attended by Bandar Al-Qahtani, executive director of the Camel Club, officials from the King Abdulaziz Public Library, intellectuals, writers, and camel owners.
Al-Dughairy proposed creating an encyclopedia cataloguing camels that inhabited the Arabian Peninsula, their owners, and poetry and texts written about the animals.
He said: “The keenness of King Abdulaziz, founder of the third Saudi state, to choose Al-Najae’eb (the best camels used in wars) in preparing his army for battles for unifying the country was in parallel with his commitment to the quality of camels used. He appointed qualified men to supervise and train these camels.
“People of the Arabian Peninsula have been associated with cows and female camels in various aspects of life from economic and military to medical and literary aspects since the pre- and post-Islamic era; way before the invention of the car,” he added.
The symposium also featured the works of great Arab poets through the ages who had written about the beauty, color, and traits of camels.
Dr. Saeed Al-Qahtani, a professor of modern history, spoke about King Abdulaziz’s entry into Riyadh and restoration of the rule of his fathers and ancestors, how he returned from Kuwait, his political and military strategies, and the use of camels in the battle to build his state.
The meeting also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Camel Club and King Abdulaziz Public Library that agreed to the sharing of experiences and research, the staging of cultural events and activities, and the establishment of a camel information center.