Legendary falconer Obeid Salim bin Shannah makes his presence felt
DUBAI, 4th January 2017: The Fazza Championship for Falconry - Tilwah organized by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) saw a record number of 670 entries for four categories on the second day of competition in Dubai on Tuesday 3rd January.
They were for Jeer Shaheen Farkh, Jeer Shaheen Jernas, Jeer Tabaa Farkh and Jeer Tabaa Jernas in the General Public category.
The fastest qualifier in the Jeer Shaheen Farkh category was the falcon of Hazza Mahmood flown by Ahmed Thani Al Rumaithi which clocked 17.857 seconds.
Ms. Suad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC, overwhelmed by the large number of entries said they were yielding the results of providing the best facilities to the falconers.
“The falconers are eager to participate in major championships and in different categories. This huge number of contestants also gives us a challenge to meet their expectations and to continuously develop our organizational aspects at all levels. Our objective is to ensure that the participants are always satisfied and happy,” she said.
The largest and most popular among the series of falconry championships, the Fazza Championship for Falconry – Tilwah, will continue until 12th January in the dedicated site in Ruwayyah area with the participation of elite contenders in various categories and groups.
Dumaithan bin Swaidan, Head of the Fazza Championships for Falconry Committee, said they have special arrangements to get over the problem of early morning fog by rescheduling the events depending on the weather.
“We keep calling the falconers well ahead of schedule to give them the new timings which reflects positively with participants coming to register early without having to waste their time because they are informed in advance. The practice of the committee to take feedback of the falconers is because one of our objectives is to ensure they compete in a happy environment,” he said.
Among the competitors was 75-year-old Obeid Salim bin Shannah who has been participating in the Fazza Championship for Falconry since the inception.
“There were not so many people and birds when the competition first began 17 years ago. Alhamdulillah now everything is different from the number of contestants to the high level of organization,” said Obeid who has been a falconer for more than five decades.
“My birds are growing. My falcons are taking part in the Jeer Shaheen Jernas I cannot compete for first place because they are not of the same quality,” said Obeid who epitomizes the spirit of participating in competitions. He keeps returning to the Fazza Championship for Falconry despite not having won though he has succeeded in winning three competitions in Abu Dhabi.
Having travelled the world accompanying Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum to even Europe during the days when falcons were used for hunting, Obeid is passing on his wisdom to the next generation, including seven of his sons.
“I don’t sell falcons, I get it as gifts and also give it as gifts. Shaheen Jernas falcons are good even if they are 15 or 20 years old but the best ones for flat racing are those birds that don’t go straight up in the sky,” said the legendary falconer who has been recognized by HHC for his achievements.
Ahmed Al Rumaithi was elated after two of his falcons qualified to the final round of the Jeer Shaheen Farkh event.
“I have been competing in the Fazza Championship for Falconry since the beginning. I also took one first place and two third places in the National Day Championship for Falconry (Furoukh) category,” said Ahmed who also had another falcon in the finals clocking 18.405 to take the 10th spot after the qualifying round.
Saeed Al Mansouri’s falcon was the second fastest in qualifying with an impressive time of 17.992 seconds, becoming one of two falcons to break the 18-second barrier.
Khalid Nasser Al Hajiri’s entry was the third fastest clocking 18.115 seconds while another of his falcons also qualified to the finals recording a time of 18.313 seconds.
Hamdan Saeed Jaber had the most qualifiers of three in the finals with his best falcon clocking the fourth fastest time of 18.151 seconds while his other two entries recorded times of 18.299 and 18.377.
Tariq Al Shamsi’s entry was the fifth fastest clocking 18.206 seconds while Hameed Al Shamsi’s falcon clocked 18.399 seconds to qualify in ninth position.
The official sponsors of heritage events organized by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Center are Al Tayer Motors, Land Rover, Dubai Airports, AW Rostamani (Arabian Automobiles), Dubai World Trade Center, Global Village and Al Oula Radio.