For the first time in the kingdom, Saudi women paraded camels in a beauty pageant for the precious “desert ship”.
Lamia al-Rashidi, 27, who participated in a weekend contest in the Luma Desert, northeast of the capital Riyadh, said, “I hope to reach a certain social status today. Will) “.
Part of the famous King Abdul Aziz Festival, this event was previously a men-only event. “I’ve been interested in camels since I was little,” says Rashidi, a family with 40 camels.
“After this event was held for women, I decided to attend,” said a young woman with a black face and colorful shawls on her shoulders. The top five in the field of about 40 participants in the women’s event returned home with a total prize pool of 1 million riyals (about $ 260,000).
The beauty of a camel is judged by several criteria, but the shape and size of the lips, neck and hump are the main attributes.
In December, some participants were disqualified because the animals received Botox injections.
At the parade of events on Luma’s Red Sand Road, a black woman on a horse rode in front of a man in a camel’s white robe, and a male musician danced to the beat of the drums.
Since Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman came to power in 2017, the Gulf countries have lifted some restrictions on women as the country is opened up with radical reforms.
Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in the tourism, entertainment and sports sectors to diversify its economy from oil. This shift allows women to grab the steering wheel and participate in a mixed gender environment.
“Women have always been an integral part of Bedouin society. They owned and cared for camels,” said festival manager Mohammed al-Harbi. He said the participation of women was in line with Saudi Arabia’s “historical heritage.”
Another participant, Munilla al-Mishkas, chimed, “Camels have long been part of us, but holding a contest for us (female) is a big step forward.” rice field.
At just seven years old, Maras Binto Enad was the youngest contestant and her animal finished third. Her proud father, a 35-year-old camel dealer who said he had more than 200 beasts, was very pleased with the admission of the female.
“This will increase the enthusiasm for the festival and the value of the camel,” said Enado bin Sultan, who wore traditional costumes and red and white Keffiyeh headdresses.
The 40-day festival, which kicked off last month, is an annual Bedouin event that attracts breeders from around the world. Gulf with total prize pool Up to $ 66 million.
http://www.gulf-times.com/story/707711/Women-s-camel-beauty-contest-makes-debut-in-Saudi Female camel beauty pageant debuts in Saudi Arabia