From the 4th to the 8th of December, Saudi Arabia will host its very first Falcons and Hunting Exhibition. The event, which was announced this week by the Saudi Falcons Club, is being organized under the direction of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, as reported by Arab News. The exhibition aims to preserve a powerful part of Saudi Arabia’s national heritage and to promote it to young Saudis through their participation and presence.
According to the news site, over 250 exhibitors from across Saudi Arabia, as well as from other countries around the world, will participate in the exhibition. Amongst the event’s key features will be simulations of hunting trips, stalls that introduce wildlife and falcon hunting to visitors, a number of lectures, booths for hospitals and veterinary centers, hunting and camping equipment, firearms, falcon breeders, tracking devices, craftsmanship, and more.
The event has been designed to help preserve the hobby of falcon hunting and breeding in Saudi Arabia, given that the Kingdom is on the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) list of falcon-breeding countries.
Today, Saudi Arabia is home to various types of local falcons and is also on the route for many migrating falcons. Although falconry was a popular practice across the region, Saudi Arabia is perhaps the last country that works diligently to preserve it as part of the country’s contemporary culture, as it holds centuries of traditional significance for the Kingdom.
Indeed, in the Quran, there is a verse that reads: “They ask you as to what has been made lawful for them. Say, “Made lawful for you are good things, and (hunting through) birds and beasts of prey that you train, teaching them out of what Allah has taught you. So, eat of what they hold for you, and recite the name of Allah upon it.” Therefore, it comes as no surprise the significance that falconry still holds today in Saudi Arabia.