Shafiq ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (Xinhua) -- In the heart of
the golden desert of Egypt’s Alexandria, dozens of enthusiastic
falconers and their raptors marked the sixth edition of World
Falconry Day (WFD).
As the sun started to rise in
Alexandria’s Borg El Arab, north of Cairo, Hani Ibrahim,
an Egyptian falconer, carefully watched his falcon
soaring through the skies and swooping down speedily to
catch a little pigeon the man has released.
“The relationship between my falcon
and I is unique ... I spent long time to train him and
we are kind of close friends now,” Ibrahim said after
his bird landed on his gloved fist.
Ibrahim said the event, which is
marked annually on Nov. 16 worldwide, is meant to spread
awareness about birds of prey through carrying out a
number of activities such as demonstrations, discussions
and exciting practical workshops on the art and practice
“We have been holding this event for
three years now and every year more people join us to
know more about these majestic birds,” Ibrahim told
Ibrahim, who has been a falconer for
more than 30 years, said that Egyptian peers and
falconry clubs adopt the principles of the International
Association for Falconry (IAF) which are dedicated to
the preservation of the ancient art of falconry.
A falconer displays a falcon in
Alexandria’s Borg El Arab, Egypt, on Nov. 17, 2018.
XINHUA PHOTO: AHMED GOMAA
“As the IAF stipulates, preserving
falconry involves maintaining not only the traditional culture
that builds practical skills of empathy with animals, but also
the conservation of raptors and their prey,” Ibrahim told Xinhua
as visitors over sand dunes watched falcons and hawks hovering
Sayed al-Sayed, one of the organizers
and admin of “Egyptian Sniper” falconry group on Facebook, said
the event is co-organized by four falconry clubs in Egypt.
“This activity is held under the
patronage of the IAF as Egypt is a member of the international
organization,” al-Sayed told Xinhua.
Al-Sayed, who is also a famous
Egyptian falconer, said falconers show ancient and modern
training techniques during the two-day event with demonstrations
of falcons flying in the heart of the desert.
“For two days, falconers have been
showing their skills and the skills of the birds in hunting,
speed as well as the beauty of the raptors,” al-Sayed said.
He added that such events are also
important for falconers who meet here as they exchange
experiences that can help them in the future.
“In addition, these events also help
ordinary people get knowledge about this art that is an
authentic part of our culture,” al-Sayed revealed, adding that
one of the main goals of falconers in Egypt is helping and
rehabilitating migrant birds and release them during migration
seasons so they can fly back to their habitats.
Hamada Ismail, a college student from
Cairo, travelled to Alexandria with his friends to get close
knowledge about falconry in Egypt, which is the cradle of this
“I have learned about the event from a
Facebook announcement and I really wanted to know what the art
of falconry is,” Ismail told Xinhua, sipping hot Arabian coffee
offered to guests by the organizers.
Ismail expressed high admiration of
this kind of sport, hoping that it would become more popular in
“I loved falconry ... I think I’m
going to raise a hawk soon,” Ismail said with a smile.