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Pigeon, bird owners compete in regional exhibition

By Suzanna Goussous - Jul 05,2015 - Last updated at Jul 05,2015

Bird owners and enthusiasts tour the Middle Eastern and international pigeons and ornamental birds exhibition in Amman on Friday (Photo by Suzanna Goussous)

AMMAN — About 400 pigeon and ornamental bird owners participated in an exhibition to showcase more than 10 different kinds of birds and compete for the title of best-looking ornamental bird of each kind.

The proceeds of the Middle Eastern and international pigeons and ornamental birds exhibition, held Friday, will go to charity organisations for orphans and underprivileged people, the organisers said.

“The exhibition is the second of its kind in Jordan and the region, where many ornamental birds are being showcased and evaluated according to certain criteria set by judges,” Mohammad Omari, one of the organisers, told The Jordan Times.

The two-hour event featured 150 birds, with eight judges from Jordan, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates selecting three birds from each type, only one of which gets chosen to be the “grand champion”.

“Judges evaluate the quality and characteristics of each bird, some genetically modified and some natural, and the mark is given accordingly,” he added.

Baker Awadi, one of the Jordanian judges, has been raising pigeons and ornamental birds for over 30 years.

“People view raising pigeons as no more than a hobby — we want to encourage them and promote this hobby since it is linked to our history and culture,” Awadi said.

“The first to raise pigeons and ornamental birds in the Levant were people who belonged to the upper class of society; these kinds of birds are known as birds of the Levant.”

Omari said the winners will be sold for more than JD10,000, “proving that Jordan is one of the important importers and exporters of pigeons in the Middle East and the world”.

He added that the main aim of such exhibitions is for local bird owners to see where they stand on the world scale.

Nasser Hindi, also one of the organisers, said the exhibition allows pigeon owners in the region to document their birds in relation to colours and characteristics.

The main exporters of pigeons and ornamental birds to Jordan are Lebanon, Syria, and Germany, while the main partners in buying them from the Kingdom are Libya and Iraq, according to Omari.

Zuhair Haji, the Bahraini judge, said the attention given to ornamental birds in Jordan is “massive” and the owners are doing “a good job” in modifying their birds genetically.

“Bird owners in Jordan and the Levant are on the right track, even with the foreign birds,” he told The Jordan Times.

Tareq Ghizawi, another Jordanian judge, said the concept of raising pigeons is “completely misunderstood” in Jordanian society.

“People here usually think of it as a job for those who didn’t get enough education to qualify for proper work,” he said.

 

“Raising pigeons and ornamental birds is not only for one segment of society and it is not for the uneducated; many owners raise birds and sell them along with the jobs they have.”

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