DUBAI, 11th February 2018: Tiny tots some of them just three years old followed the footsteps of their fathers and grandparents by displaying their love for falcons and falconry as a sport when they participated in the sixth edition of the Fakhr Al Ajyal (Pride of the Generation) Championship for Falconry Telwah organized and supervised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) in the Juniors category at the dedicated Fazza Falconry Championship site in Ruwayyah area off Emirates Road (exit 55) in Dubai on Saturday 10th February.
There was some keen competition in the four events – Tabaa Wahish Car and Cash; Jeer Tabaa Car and Cash with 13-year-old Mubarak Rashed Saeed Al Kindi producing four winners among the top three ranks and 10-year-old Sultan Hamad Ahmed Bin Mijrin bagging the seventh win of his career.
His Excellency Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook, CEO of HHC, graced the awarding ceremony for Juniors in the presence of Rashid Bin Markhan, Deputy CEO at HCC, Mohammed Abdullah Bin Dalmook, Director of Corporate Support at HHC, and Dumaithan bin Sweidan, Head of the Fazza Championships – Falconry Committee.
It was not all about winning but more about participating and enjoying a heritage sport which gave the most satisfaction for the parents who encouraged their children to continue a tradition handed down for generations.
Hamad Rashid Bin Mijrin’s father Rashid was not disappointed that his three-year-old son and a winner at the Fazza Championship for Falconry Telwah last month, had to settle for second place in the Tabaa Wahish Car event.
“I’m actually very happy because just two days ago Hamad told me even if I get fifth place I will be happy. I don’t believe in teaching my son only about winning. Participating is more important,” said Rashid Bin Mijrin who started taking Hamad to the desert when he was just two and half years old.
“He is carrying them, flying them and watching me train falcons. He comes in the afternoon for two hours. He loves falconry, football, cycling, swimming and shooting like any other kid. For the time being all he does now is release the falcon,” said Rashid proudly.
Ahmed Juma Al Falahi, one of the smallest contestants, has started racing falcons even before he has started schooling.
“He is going to join kindergarten this season. When I have falcons he is watching what his father is doing. When he saw me on television during a competition he got excited and said he wanted to do like me. I brought him to participate in Dubai first time. He liked it. He started talking about it every day to family and friends,” said Juma Abdullah Hareb Al Falahi about his three-year-old son’s passion for falconry.
“It’s something that you want for the kids to make them happy. We are here not for the win but for the happiness of those kids. The smile is more valuable that whatever he wins,” said Al Falahi relating how Ahmed’s falcon was named ‘Awsad’>
“I wanted to call the falcon ‘Aswad’ which means black in Arabic. When he wanted to say the name he said ‘Awsat’ so I called it by the same name,” said Al Falahi. “In reality at this age he is not handling bird every day. He is holding the bird in training and sometimes he releases the bird. It is still early for him to do from A to Z. In the future he will be more involved and more confident how to handle the birds,” he added.
Marwan Bin Mijrin, whose eight-year-old son Khalid came third in the Tabaa Wahish Cash event, also said participation is more important.
“Participating, enjoying and doing it right. Every weekend he is with his falcons and during school holidays he is always with falcons,” said Marwan Bin Mijrin.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Mijrin who won the Tabaa Wahish Cash race said the secret of his success was training the bird himself.
“I love falconry because it is our culture. I find falconry more exciting than doing sports in schools. You have to train the bird by yourself. Don’t let anyone train it for you. Then you have a connection,” said Sultan who named his winning falcon ‘Rashid’ after his younger brother.
Mubarak Rashed Saeed Al Kindi who won the Tabaa Wahish Car and Jeer Tabaa Cash events said he was pleased to continue a family tradition.
“My brothers helped me to win. This is not the first time I’m winning. I have won titles every year I participated,” he said.
UAE’s first ever Olympic champion Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Hasher Al Maktoum said it was important to strike a balance between practicing heritage sports and Olympic disciplines.
“My son takes part in shooting, cycling and also falconry after school. In school he tries to do everything not to just focus on one thing. Heritage sport is our passion. We must take care of our identity. At the same time to raise our flag in the international arena, we must also focus on Olympic sports,” said Sheikh Ahmad bin Mohammad bin Hasher Al Maktoum who won the Men’s double trap in shooting at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Following is the remaining tournament schedule for the Fakhr Al Ajyal (Pride of the Generation) Championship for Falconry Telwah:
Monday 12th February: (Hurr Wahish): Farkh – Car; Farkh – Cash; Jernas – Car (Local); Farkh – Car; Jernas – Car (GCC)
Tuesday 13th February (Shaheen Wahish): Farkh – Trophy; Farkh – Cash; Jernas – Car (Local); Farkh – Car; Jernas – Car (GCC)
Wednesday 14th February: RC Airplane Finals (Sheikhs and General)
Thursday 15th February: ‘Al Noukhba’ Super Final (Sheikhs) Farkh and Jernas – Car; Super Final (General) Farkh and Jernas – Car
The official sponsors of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center are: Al Tayer Motors Land Rover, Dubai Airports, AW Rostamani (Arabian Automobiles), Global Village and Al Oula radio station.