In an oil and gas rich country where foreigners outnumber citizens almost five to one, Qataris struggle to keep the traditions of their bedouin culture alive. For thousands of years in Qatar, much like elsewhere in the Gulf region, many lived the life of a nomad travelling the arid land and hunting prey along the way. In the barren openness of the Gulf desert, hunters learned to keep and train animals with the ability to pursue fast-moving prey.
Falcons and Salukis were two of these animals, and today they're kept as pets to take part in competitions, such as the third annual International Falcon and Hunting Festival in southeastern Qatar.
The festival's main competitions involve the keeping and training of falcons, or falconry, a practice originating thousands of years ago in Asia, which later spread to Europe and around the globe. Today, wild falcons can be found on every continent (save Antarctica), but only certain species are able to be kept and trained as pets.