Dubai, February 6, 2016 – “These are my favourite races,” Mohammed Abdullah Bin Dalmook, Director of Corporate Support at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), enthused as he surveyed the joyous scenes around him in the Al Ruwayyah area in Dubai on Friday.
Young Emirati falconers played around to their hearts’ content yesterday (Friday) as they prepared to compete in the ‘Tibah Wahash’ and ‘Jeer Tibah’ contests at the Fakhr Al Ajyal (‘The Pride of the Generation’) Championship for Falconry Telwah, which is organized and supervised by the HHC.
However, once they exited the spectators and sauntered down the tunnel with their falcons, those childlike characteristics dissipated and the seriousness set in as they waited patiently by a beige door to enter into the fray.
“You see these junior falconers running here and there and you honestly don’t expect what happens to them when they go inside there,” Bin Dalmook explained. “They completely change and don’t joke around when they are carrying their falcons. This sport totally changes your personality because you have to be calmer and quieter; you’re more concentrated and focused mentally and there is a lot of responsibility that comes with the territory of being a falconer. They become more adult.”
Two-year-old Rashid Bin Mejren naturally has a fair few years to go yet before he even begins to approach adulthood, yet he still let go of two birds in the ‘Tibah Wahash’ tournament despite his exceedingly young age.
The Bin Mejren name is, of course, synonymous with UAE falconry and falcon racing. You are practically born into it from the very beginning and Rashid is merely following in the very same footsteps of his father Hamad in that regard.
“It is, of course, nice for me to see him as a falconer,” Hamad admitted. “He saw the other kids racing their falcons in the previous competition last month and he wanted to be with them. He’s talking about the falcons, seeing his cousins and just generally enjoying the atmosphere here along with the other kids at this competition. He accompanies me on most days when I’m training my falcons and he has released the falcons with me in the past. He is a kid; he loves what his father loves. Every kid watches what his father does and wants to do the same. If his father likes football, falcon racing or swimming, he will just do like his father. He comes regularly with me when I’m training my falcons and that’s why he’s into it. He is mostly interested in the falcon racing and many of the conversations he has in our house are about falcons.”
Ali Ahmed, 16, accompanied his younger cousin, 13-year-old Abdullah Rashid, from Umm Al Quwain to yesterday’s tournament.
“My grandfather was a falconer and my father and Abdullah’s father are falconers, so it’s just something that runs in the family,” Ahmed explained. “I like challenging my cousins and friends and we have fun. After school we all go out and sit down with each other, talk and have fun. The Fazza Championship for Falconry is a good thing and we really enjoy coming here to challenge each other and have fun.”