Story Detail

28 Sep 2015

The Most Popular Pet in Egypt Is the Camel

Vox Orbis / 28 Sep 2015 Pets

Photo: A camel market in Cairo, Egypt. Mtphrames/Flickr

Khalid Idris

At the Suez Gulf and more than 200 miles from the Egyptian capital of Cairo, the coastal city of Tor Sinai is located. It is the capital city of South Sinai, which has a long-lasting, bright sun and the ever-giving Red Sea.

If you visit Tor Sinai, the balm trees and camels usually attract you. There are various kinds of balm trees, which provide the best kinds of dates. In its vast desert, Tor Sinai is also home to an unmatched variety of one- and two-hump camels.

Photo: A camel stands in front of the Giza Pyramids in Egypt. David Dennis/Flickr

Bedouins—who are the indigenous people of Tor Sinai—rely on camels in all aspects of their lives. They usually ride camels, eat camel meat, and drink camel milk and urine to recover from diseases. Bedouins call camel milk “a drink that can be drunk alone” due to its capability for satiation. They also say, “a little camel milk prevents thirst and hunger.”

Camel milk is well known for its ability to heal many diseases, such as smallpox, dental disease and digestive diseases, as well as increase toxin resistance. In his book The Canon of Medicine,  Ibn Sina said, “Camel milk is a useful medicine due to its characteristics. If you drink camel milk instead of water and food, you will soon recover. Some Non-Arab people were forced to use it and surprised to recover soon.”

Camels are one of the most popular tourist attractions in South Sinai. Due to the lack of camels in European environments, tourists see camels as an unfamiliar animal. This is why they tend to either ride or take photos with camels.

Photo: A passenger’s view from the back of a camel touring the South Sinai, Egypt. Ollie Harridge/Flickr

Khalid Idris for Vox Orbis 2015