eight Arab men and one camel

I visited Doha, Qatar in the heat of the summer of 2001 shortly before 9.11 and again in December, 2003. From 7 am until 2 pm every day, Sunday through Thursday, I taught medical residents and attended to patients at Hamad Hospital.

During my second visit, I traveled to the camel souq on Salwa Road in Doha. My companion and I were the only visitors. Men waiting in the shade watched me, and I watched them.


After awhile, smiling, nodding and waving my intentions, I photographed eight Arab camel tenders under an overhanging porch or in a tent.

One of the men introduced me to the oldest, largest camel in the souq. Heatedly in Arabic and with gestures that whipped from knees to fingers, he tried to sell me the camel. The camel reacted with total indifference, as if it had seen this performance many times before.

I bought no camels in Doha.