Azad's Camel

Azad's Camel

By Erika Pal

Frances Lincoln Ltd, Hardcover, 9781845079826, 40pp.

Publication Date: May 2010


In a big Arabian city, an orphan boy is forced to work as a camel jockey a dangerous job he doesn't like. But a new friendship and a magical escape into the desert are about to change his life . . . Camel racing is a popular sport in the Gulf states of the Middle East, where child jockeys from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sudan, Mauritania, and Eritrea are used to ride the camels. Some impoverished families are persuaded to sell sons as young as five years old, who are taken away to be trained and often badly treated. Accidents are common, and when a little jockey falls off a racing camel, he can receive serious injuries. Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates have all banned the use of child jockeys and are returning children to their families so that they can go to school and live a normal life.