Argentinian envoy saddles camel, treks through desert

Argentinian envoy saddles camel, treks through desert

The 64-year-old envoy joined the caravan for the desert voyage

This one can be called 'dromedary diplomacy'. A domesticated Arabian camel, the 'ship of the desert', meets the Argentinian ambassador to relive the social and cultural heritage of the UAE.

In an extraordinary show of cultural assimilation and despite hardly any experience riding a camel, the Ambassador of the Argentine Republic to the UAE, Fernando De Martini, saddled up and joined the fourth edition of the 'Camel Trek' organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC), which began on January 17 at the Empty Quarter in Abu Dhabi.

The 64-year-old Argentinian envoy first joined the "camel trekkers" on Tuesday night and stayed overnight in the desert camp before joining the caravan for the desert voyage which covered a total distance of over 50km in one day. "I read about this heritage trip in the newspapers and decided to join it. I called the HHC and was welcomed to the desert treak," said De Martini. Needless to say, it requires great endurance and stamina from the participants. Training is also required and the most that De Martini initially had was less than an hour. But he endured the hardship.

De Martini shared his main aim to join the 'Camel Trek' was to experience the "silence of the desert" and the Emirati culture. "The silence of desert is very special. The UAE and Argentina, we have many things in common between us. But Emirati people are part of the desert. And tradition is the soul of all the people. The trek is a good way to understand the (Emirati) culture better," he said.

On his part, HHC CEO Abdullah Hamdan bin Dalmook said: "We welcome the Ambassador of Argentina and appreciate his keen interest in the camel trek, where the participants travel in a camel caravan in the desert, as our ancestors did in the past."

Bin Dalmook said his team was delighted at the ambassador joining the camel caravan. Although the 10-day journey is nearing completion, he hoped the ambassador would participate the full distance of the Camel Trek next year. He added that the last stage of the Camel Trek is on track, despite experiencing inclement weather and rough routes.

A special traditional ceremony will be held on Saturday at the Heritage Village in Dubai's Global Village, where the camel trekkers will be welcomed by their families and friends after a 10-day journey away from home

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