Saudi Athari Alkhaldi becomes first woman to compete at top falconry show

Athari Alkhaldi is the first woman to compete at Saudi Arabia’s annual King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival, the top falconry competition in the Middle East.

Falconry is an important part of the region’s heritage, and the festival gathers more than 4,000 falcons from the Gulf.

Alkhaldi first participated last year, but her bird refused to take flight, and she returned this year.

“Dealing with falcons is not easy. It was difficult… thank God, I managed to handle the falcon and enter the competition,” she said.

Alkhaldi said her passion for falcons first began 10 years ago and she has been developing her skills with the hunting birds ever since.

“Falconry is a well-known legacy since the old times, and we take pride in it… I proved that women can join this field, it’s not only restricted to men,” she said. 

Full story at Reuters, Al Arabiya

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