World Camel Day 22 June

World Camel Day – How it started?

Camel and my Childhood

Since my childhood, I have been keenly looking at the camel herds of the Afghan Kuchis. They have been passing near our village in Northeastern Balochistan Pakistan. Whenever a salt seller camel to our village, smelling salts from the salt wells of Kakar Khurasan, the beast was always a camel. During my childhood, I was used to making camel toys with clay. As a curious kid, I always asked many many questions about the camel. So, my interest in camels started in my childhood.

Camel milk – Natural pharmacy for my sickness

A decade earlier severe arthritis (Rheumatoid Arthritis) almost killed me and I was unable to move from the bed. An old wise man advised me to move to a camel breeding area and take fresh camel milk regularly. I started my new life while obeying the advice and reached the Suleiman Mountainous Region of Balochistan (the camel heartland). I lived with the camel people, enjoyed their company, learned a lot about camels, and took camel milk regularly. I established a viewpoint that camel milk is a natural pharmacy not just white fluid milk. I recovered soon and started climbing the mountains, the joyful feeling of my life.

Ph.D. in Camel (2005-2009)

While compiling my Ph.D. work, and reading piles of books and articles about the camels and camel-related aspects, I realized that there must be someday, mentioning and realizing the importance of the incredible camel.

The Conception of World Camel Day – First world camel day 2009

In 2009, I conceptualized the idea of a world camel day (WCD) to aware people of the importance of camel as a food security agent in climate change scenarios. From 2009 to 2012, WCD was celebrated only in the province of Balochistan (the important habitat of camels, 50% share of Pakistan’s 1 million population of camels). Slowly and gradually, we earned support at the country as well as global level.

Why do we choose the date of 22nd June?

In its original habitat, 21 June is the longest and hottest day of the year, in the northern hemisphere of the globe. Camel sustains its abilities of production in such harsh and hostile environments and adapts to the soaring heat and long thirsty days. We should have chosen the 21st of June as world camel day but it is specified for the world father day. So, we decided to skip 21 and selected 22nd June as the world camel day. The difference in day length is only 2 seconds between the 21st and 22nd of June. For further reading about the history of the world camel day, please go to the link below.

International colleagues’ support

Here, I must praise the role of the very important camel colleagues like Ilse Kohler Rollefson, Prof. Dr. Yagil (the late), Dr. Abdul Salam Abax (KSA), and many other colleagues. It is very hard to mention the names of all the people who supported me in this noble cause.

Recent development

In recent years, we have gained much development, there is an increasing awareness about the camel and the world camel day is celebrated in many quarters of the world. Last year (2021) there was a Twitter trend ‘worldcamelday‘. With the support of the International Camel Organization, an international seminar was held with the collaboration of UNESCO which was live-streamed on Twitter, Youtube, and other media outlets.

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