ID :
Mon, 01/30/2012 - 19:55
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First Female Falconry Association Launches in Katara

Doha, January 30 (QNA) - Qatar's cultural village (Katara) holds on Wednesday a press conference to announce the inauguration of the first world female falconry association to give prominence to the goals of the association and its members. Meanwhile, details of a worldwide female falconer’s conference will be also made public. A rare sport among women, the conference will discuss falconry female competitions. The conference coincides with Qatar Third annual International Falcon and Hunting Festival , being held under the patronage of HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani and concludes on Thursday at Sabkhat Marma, near Sealine Beach Resort. The festival is significant for reviving the country's heritage and preserving falconry in Qatar where hunting is considered a popular practice. 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. Falconry is a delicate practice, and experts say the predatory birds - known for their dive speeds of up to 300kph (185mph) and acute vision that allows them to see prey as far as two or three kilometres away - must regularly be allowed to fly and hunt. The festival's other main competition involves Salukis, a hound native to the Gulf and other desert areas in the region. Dogs are not a common site in a region where they are often considered unclean in Islam, and when they are kept, it is usually as guard dogs outside homes. However, in the Gulf it is common for people to keep Salukis as pets and companions on trips to the desert.(QNA)