Right now I’m going back home from the desert camel farm. I met by chance at a grazing and roaming camel herd. It is 3 p.m. on 22 June 2023 (World Camel Day), the longest and one of the hottest days of the year. It is 45 C. You can see the camels grazing on highly adapted shrubs/bushes enjoying the challenging weather (absorbing heat now which will dissipate in the night). I’m talking from my car and making a video, already released on the YouTube channel Camelogist.
In 2009, the author conceptualized the idea of a World Camel Day (WCD) to aware people of the importance of camels as food security agents in climate change scenarios. Here is the link to read about the history of World Camel Day.
Why do we choose the date of 22nd June as World Camel Day?
In the original habitat of camel (Arabian Peninsula), 21 June is the longest and hottest day of the year. Camel sustains its performance in such harsh and hostile environments.
Further important reading about the World Camel Day
World Camel Day (WCD) Session on 24 tv Channel Riyadh Saudi Arabia
The session was directly covered by the 24 sport channel of Saudi Arabia. It was a 1 hour live seminar about the world camel day. Abu Muhammad Bin Oudah (camel farmer from KSA), Dr. Suleiman, Dr. Mubarak Swelem, Dr. Abdul RAZIQ Kakar (the founder of the world camel day) participated in the conference.
Bin Oudah spoke about the present status and future prospects of the camel in Saudi Arabia. He emphasized on the role of camel in Saudi culture and business. He was quite optimistic with the future of the camel in Saudi Arabia and the world. He suggested to be get ready well in time for the year of camelids in 2024.
Camel is the Animal of Future
Future of the camel is very bright because it is highly adapted to the harsh climate conditions. It can sustain milk production (where temperature reaches to 52C) in conditions where the other type of livestock can hardly survive. The camels eat the food mainly based on woody material which has otherwise no use except burning for fuel. The camel convert such wood material into valuable food for human (milk, meat) and detritivores (manure). Adaptation is the real worth of camel and the utmost need of the human being. We need livestock for our food security to be convenient in harsh weather and doesn’t need much inputs like more water, cooling, biosafety, specialized food etc.
2024 is the year of Camelids, specified by the UNFAO. I wish the policymakers and scientist recognize and appreciate the camel as the highly adapted livestock ensuring food security and managing the fragile ecosystem under the climate change scenario.
Dr. Muhammad Suleiman detailed out the issues, problems and challenges of the camels in Saudi Arabia. He mentioned the challenges for the camel as; no proper knowledge/practice about the diseases, especially with the climate change as new health challenges are emerging. He stressed on coordinated efforts to organize a serious forum to have a comprehensive work on the camel health challenges.
Dr. Mubarak Swelem highlighted the importance of the camel as a business opportunity in the kingdom and abroad. He elaborated that investment in the camel can increase the business opportunities and jobs for the people in the camel world. He suggested to find out the chances which can be grabbed for the business opportunities in the camel world.
Dr. Abdul RAZIQ Kakar (author and key speaker) was stormed by many questions from all the 3 panelists/presenters and the TV anchor person. In following lines I’m sharing the questions along with the answers.
Q 1. Why a World Camel Day and what were the motives behind this idea?
Answer: No doubt the camel is well known and praised in some cultures but still it is hiding from the eyes of the major part of the world especially the policymakers. The camel is considered as the animal of old world and remote and regions. The policymakers have no clear understanding about the real worth of the incredible camels. In Australia without any support the camel increased in population manifolds. They helped in revegetation and revitalization of the remote drylands of the inner Australia but the policymakers of the country decided to kill the precious camels. Thousands of camels were killed in last few years. In other camel countries the camels are badly neglected and seldom considered in the research and development policies of the country. The overall understanding and knowledge about the camel is very rare and sporadic. In such a circumstances, I realized to have a specific day in the year’s calendar to speak about the camel and highlight its importance a the global level.
Q 2. When a World Camel Day was started?
Answer: With a small one day seminar in the beautiful city of Quetta (capital of Balochistan province of Pakistan) the foundation of the world camel day was laid. Interestingly, the first event was sponsored by a Saudi professor, Dr. Abdul Salam Abax from Qasseem area. The city of Quetta was selected because of the 50 % of the camels of Pakistan are only placed in Balochistan. Later on, each year many more people joined the WCD from different quarters of the world and now it is being celebrated in different parts of the world even in the regions which are not culturally familiar with the camel world.
Q 3. Why 22 June was selected for the world camel day?
Answer: June is the hottest month and 22 June is the hotted and longest day of the year. In such a challenging conditions, camel is the only player sustaining its own survival and providing precious food item to the people living in the deserted hot weathers. To praise and admire the importance of the camel, no other day is better than 22nd June.
Q 4. What is your message at the occasion of the World Camel Day?
Answer: Camel is the animal of future, sustaining food security under the challenging weathering conditions. The camel not only secure the food sustenance but also play a pivotal role in the ecosystem management. My message is to please love the camel, care the camel and give the camel a chance to play its role.
The Longest and Hottest Day is a Camel Day (22 June)
Camel is a multipurpose, unique, and very useful animal for livelihood earning in the challenging climatic conditions of its habitats. Because of the towering power of adaptation, the camel ensures food security in conditions where other types of livestock can hardly survive. Camel is an efficient biological machine, converting poor roughages (shrubs, bushes, and dry foliage) into precious milk while consuming a lesser amount of water/kg milk production. The camel extracts water from its excreta and produces an almost dry and hard manure ball, as well as an extract from the urine via its incredible kidneys, producing urine thicker than syrup. Camel produces milk with medicinal and functional properties, rightly called a natural pharmacy. Camel also provides fiber, hides, recreation, sports opportunities, transportation & accessibility to millions of people around the world. The camel plays an incredible role in dispersing seeds, enriching soil fertility, recycling the woody roughages into manure (food for the soil microbiome), and overall ecosystem management.
We celebrate World Camel Day to highlight the camel’s importance and usefulness among researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders
Besides the above-discussed potential and opportunities, the camel is still hiding from the eyes of the policymakers. Camel is seldom considered in R&D policies, both locally and globally which is very unfortunate. Camel4Life International is an influential forum advocating camel at the global level, with a workforce of caramelized (camel scientists, nomads/pastoralists, farmers, students, lovers) from all over the world.
We celebrate World Camel Day each year on the 22nd of June to highlight the importance of an incredible camel and aware/educate the masses about the role of the camel in food security, climate change adaptation, culture, and ecosystem management. Each year, this day is celebrated in many parts of the world and the interest is increasing with the passing of each camel day. Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar (author) is the founder and author of the world camel day.
The interest of the people beyond the camels’ habitats is also increasing and the demand for camel milk is increasing with the passage of time. More and more people are coming into the camel milk and sports business. We can see camel dairies in Western countries and regions like USE, Australia, and the European Union. Also, now we have camel racing in France and Australia, and soon more countries will enter the ring. The celebration of camel day is a success story and great support for the camel development.
World Camel Day is Celebrated on 22nd June each Year in Different Regions of the World. Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar is the founder of the world camel day.
Dr. Raziq Kakar is a doctorate in animal science, with a special emphasis on dromedary as a potential dairy animal, He has been working with the camels for the last 22 years. He gained practical experience with camels, like a camel dairy professional, both by training and experience. Since 2014, Dr. Raziq Kakar is solely working with a camel dairying entity (Alain Farms for Livestock Production) which is the world’s first commercial camel dairy, Alain Abu Dhabi UAE. In my philosophy, the camel is a magical biological model coping with the warming planet scenario while producing health-promising milk and meat in challenging circumstances.
History of the World Camel Day
While compiling my Ph.D. work, and reading piles of books and scientific articles about the camels and camel-related aspects, I realized that there must be a special day to celebrate World Camel Day. This day will be helpful in advocating and promoting camels and spreading awareness among the masses about the importance of the incredible camel in livelihood and food security.
Why do we choose the date of 22nd June?
In its original habitat, 21 and 22 June are the longest and hottest days 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. For further reading about the history of World Camel Day, please go to the link below.
How did World Camel Day start?
From 2009 to 2012 WCD was celebrated 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.
In 2013, we launched the WCD Facebook page and received appreciation and support from all over the world. The next year, in 2014 WCD started celebrating in the different corners of the globe. The same year, LMUAF under the supervision of Dr. Muhammad Younas launched the Dachi camel milk brand in the university and invited the famous camel lady Ilse Kohler Rollefson to attend the WCD 2014 and inaugurate the Dachi milk. For more details, please click on the link;
World Camel Day is appealing to cameleers from all quarters of the world. Each year new ideas are being floated under the banner of World Camel Day. The people are now better aware of the importance of camel than before. We have more knowledge about the different aspects of the camels. There is an international camel advocacy forum (think tank) with the name of Camel4Life International, advocating camels at the global level. Policymakers at all levels are now convinced of the importance of camels in livelihood earning, food security, and ecosystem services of the camel.