Saudi paper slams SR90m camel deal

Writer says money should have been given to the poor

A Saudi newspaper launched virulent attack on a recent deal involving the sale of 20 camels forSR90 million, saying the buyer should have given that money to the poor and branding the transaction as a useless waste of funds.

The Arabic language daily Alyoum was referring to last week’s deal involving the purchase of 20 camels for SR90 million by an unknown dealer at a camel pageantry in north Saudi Arabia, where more than 16,500 camels participated.

“This is a useless waste of money, which could have been used to build houses for the poor or new hospitals," the paper said in an article by well known writer Abdul Aziz Alyousuf.

“You should not say that everyone is free to manage and spend his own money because in my opinion, the money spent with such arrogance and carelessness on beasts is a money burned away by cruelty, negligence and lack of feeling and awareness of the needs of the poor.”

Alyousuf said the sum spent on those camels could be enough to disburse social aid for 4,500 Saudi families, build 180 houses for the needy citizens or help 13,500 families without supporters for one year.

“It could also be used to sponsor thousands of orphans for many years or fund projects for children with special needs. It could be sufficient to pay a monthly salary of SR4,000 to 22,500 people or 2,250 employees for one year,” he said.

The camel beauty contest, which is staged every year, was launched in Umm Ruqaiba at the start of December and is expected to continue for several weeks.

Organisers said 16,539 male and female camels had been booked for the contest, which attracted camel owners from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.

The UAE has around 378,000 camels while there are nearly 870,000 camels in Saudi Arabia, and124,000 in Oman. The camel wealth is much smaller in Kuwait and Qatar.


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