Trust The Camels


“From the far basket, a young girl, perhaps three years old, raised her head shyly above the humps…The woman lifted a sheet covering the basket immediately in front of me, and there, wrapped in a cocoon of sheepskin, was a newborn…I was humbled by the thought that for much of the morning I had feared my horse might make a misstep on one of the narrow ledges or be knocked over by the river’s current. This woman trusted her animals with the precious lives of her most fragile loved ones—showing more trust in those camels than many people in my own society would bestow on another human being.”

-On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads by Tim Cope

A description of the journey from the beginning of the book:

The world expanded with every new challenge, from frostbitten toes to the dark clouds of mosquitoes that came with summer in Siberia. But most of all it was the people who left an impression on me….I found it astonishing that in the midst of an adventure I experienced more comradeship and connection with many of these people than with those where I had grown up in Australia.

Camel Racing and Child Slavery

This is an excellent book about an extremely difficult topic. The main character is a young orphan boy who is sold into slavery by his uncle because the family is poor and cannot afford to care for the child. A rich Sheikh purchases the boy and forces him to work as a camel racer.

While the book does not describe the grisly deaths that camel racers often face, or the beatings and abuses that come with being enslaved, it is clear the child is not surrounded by nice, much less loving, people.

It also has a fairy tale ending, which makes the harsh realities easier to handle.


“That evening, as Azad and Asfur sat with the Bedouin around the fire, one of them played on his rababa. He sang about a brave little boy and his camel…who had found a home at last.”

Azad’s Camel by Erika Pal