The Importance of Camels

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By Farxiya Muxiyadiin Abshir

Here is what one of the of the pastoralists in Har Har, told me about the benefits of owning camels.

In a pastoralist society, while all animals share economic benefits, the social value of camels is greater than that of other animals. Every man aspires to raise camels, in order to be seen as important.  

There is a big difference in this society between a man with many camels and a man with many sheep or cattle. Everyone is valued for their livestock but those who own camels are more respected in their community.  When a man owns many camels he becomes more important than those with fewer camels and the herders of sheep and goats.  Even if his intelligence and humanity is low, those things are less important than his camels. Those camels take into account that one day their owner may be needed to overcome a crisis in their community. That social position makes camels far more important than all other livestock.