This week, Saudi Arabia held its very first falcon and hunting exhibition in the capital Riyadh, with the participation of more than 250 exhibitors from the Kingdom and abroad, coming in from 20 countries around the world. The five-day event exhibition was organized by the Saudi Falcon Club and was created to educate the country’s youth about the importance of this long tradition and cultural heritage, as well as the importance of preserving what is indeed a significant part of the Kingdom’s values and indigenous customs.
The exhibition was held in a stunning location with an area of 14,700 square meters, and had exhibitions and pavilions organized by participating government bodies, as well as Abu Dhabi Falcon Club, and the UAE Falcon Club. On its second day, it was reported by Saudi Press Agency that the Saudi Falcons and Hunting Exhibition managed to garner a staggering 40,000 attendees.
Amongst the many falconers attending this exhibition was one young man who managed to turn quite a few heads. Ahmed Al-Chahwan is a 12-year-old boy who dazzled visitors as he held two falcons at a time on his small arms. According to Arab News, this sixth-grade student from the Qassim region was born and raised among falcons thanks to his father’s avid hobby. Al-Chahwan, who traveled 400 kilometers with his father to take part in the exhibition, is reported to own two of his own falcons that he has used for hunting several times.
Saudi Arabia is one of 11 countries on the UNESCO list of falcon-breeding countries and is home to many falcon species, as well as a major passageway for other migrating birds of prey. In fact, falcons are considered a significant part of life amongst the country’s Bedouins who see them as a symbol of bravery and nobility. The exhibition was designed to highlight this importance, featuring simulations of hunting trips and wildlife in an attempt to make the experience as close to reality as possible.
Photo Credits: SPA