Egypt: Second Day at Birqash Camel Market

For the second time, our team visits Birqash camel market in Egypt. There are camels and traders as far as the eye can see. The general atmosphere is even more hectic and agitated as yesterday and we have to pay attention to be not overrun.

To get a better overview, we split up into two teams. Promptly, we spot some camels being unloaded without a ramp. The camels are frightened and refuse to exit the vehicle despite being yelled at and beaten with sticks. The traders literally take a run-up to push the animals from behind, and in consequence, the camels just fall of the truck. It is almost a miracle that none of them break a leg. However, they scream desperately, not knowing what is happening to them.

Also on the opposite side of the road, traders have just started to load some camels. The picture is quite the same: The animals are totally overwhelmed by the situation and the lack of space on the loading bed. Ahmet suffers most. His right eye was injured and bleeds. We do not want him to be left alone on his last journey, so we decide to follow the truck.

The car ride is onerous as the roads are in bad condition. After three hours, the journey ends in a narrow and bumpy alley. The animals are being unloaded in the middle of a residential area, and again there is no ramp. They just fall of the vehicle sideways. Courageously and with his head up high, Ahmet follows his companions to a backyard. They don’t get any chance to rest. Within minutes, two of them are selected for the slaughterhouse.

Unfortunately, we have no means to help these animals in any way. We leave the place with a heavy heart. Tomorrow, we will return to the market in Birqash to collect as much information as possible for our upcoming report.