STORY: Falconers take part in Qatar’s annual desert hunting festival
Location: Mesaieed, Qatar
The Marmi Falcon Festival attracts falcon owners across the Gulf region
to showcase the beauty of their birds and compete in the hunting championship
Organizers says prizes range from $27,000 to an SUV
(Hamad Al Otaibi, Participant)
"It is a popular legacy here in Qatar to have falcons and it is something that makes us happy and it is one of the most precious and most liked hobbies we have."
Falconry is an ancient tradition in Qatar, and is still a popular pastime today
(Ali Bin Sultan al Humaidi, Event organizer)
"We still preserve our heritage and we cherish it, the falcon is a bird of our heritage, it was a means of living in the past and now its something we value and cherish, we have been living together for past year and we are still persistent with this bird, and we teach our children this heritage which we are proud of."