The race is part of an annual camel festival outside the city
of Ismailia which has attracted participants from 13 Arab
countries this year, as well as enthusiasts from France,
Germany, Italy and Austria.
While the prize money is modest - 100,000 Egyptian pounds
($5,500) split between the winners of several races -
competition among bedouin tribes is strong.
Organizers hope international interest is growing, pointing to
the presence this year of Europeans who came to see how the
festival was organized, though they did not take part in the
"It's the first time they have come," said Sheikh Suleiman Abu
Shukri, whose tribe extends from Egypt's Sinai peninsula into
neighboring Saudi Arabia.
Around 150 camels competed in races ranging from the relatively
short 3 km (2 mile) course to a 15 km race, or three laps of the
5 km circuit. The jockeys were mostly small children aged 11 or
(Reporting by Amr Abdallah; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by
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