Saudi woman embarks on journey from Riyadh to Hejaz on camel

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Saudi camel owner Rasha al-Qurashi embarked on a journey from the Kingdom’s capital Riyadh to Hejaz on Wednesday after vowing to do so if she doesn’t win at King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival.

“I made a vow that if I don’t win, I will return from [Riyadh] to Hejaz on my camel,” al-Qurashi told Al Arabiya.

She added that after losing at the festival around six months ago, she began preparing for her journey and issuing all the necessary permits.

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The journey, which entails 14 stops, is expected to last 20 days.

Al-Qurashi, who arrived in al-Hefnah on Friday en route to al-Qassim province, said that she stops to rest every 50 kilometers.

She also said that despite the difficulty of the journey, it represents a tangible lesson about the life of her ancestors who traveled on camels in the desert.

“I am the daughter of the desert. I was raised on loving camels… and I seek to prove that women can participate in camel breeding as they are capable of [exploring] all fields and succeeding,” she added.

King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival, which brought together camel owners from Gulf countries, the US, Russia and France, kicked off on December 1, 2021, and lasted for 40 days.

It was set up on an area of 32 square kilometers and located nearly 100 kilometers north-east of Riyadh.

In addition to competitions in 19 categories, the festival also included various entertainment and cultural activities to present it as a global carnival that provides around 5,000 jobs and stands as a destination for tourists from across the world with more than 100,000 visits a day.

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