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When a Saudi Prince Bought 80 Plane Seats For His Falcons

Saudi Prince bought 80 plane seats for his falcons. The photo which was uploaded in reddit has gone viral.

Credit: Shutterstock/SLSK Photography

A photo of 80 falcons inside a plane has gone viral after being posted on Reddit.

A member of the Saudi Arabian royal family had booked every seat in the airplane for his birds, ensuring they would travel in comfort and security. They have travel-specific sleep masks and passports of their own. Like people, falcons require a passport in order to travel.

The birds are outfitted with a leg ring and a unique ID number in place of a photo ID. The old photo showed the falcons perched on airplane seats, each wearing a hood and tethered securely. 

My captain friend sent me this photo. Saudi prince bought ticket for his 80 hawks.
byu/lensoo infunny

The photograph was posted by a Reddit user in 2017, and it has since gone viral. Falcons can cost anywhere from 2,000 dirhams ($544) to 70,000 dirhams ($19,058), said cultural expert Nasif Kayed of The Arab Culturalist. He added that some breeds are bred for long-distance hunting, while others are bred for speed.

It has been stated that each passenger on Qatar Airways is limited to six falcons. According to Gizmodo, falcons are permitted as checked baggage or in the main cabin on Etihad Airways. Given that falcons are the national bird of the United Arab Emirates, it makes sense that a number of Gulf airlines are prepared to carry them. The government issued more than 28,000 falcon passports between 2002 and 2013.

Significance of falcons and falconry

Falcons are the national birds of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, and Yemen. They hold immense cultural and historical significance for Arabs, symbolizing tradition, prestige, and the longstanding art of falconry. These majestic birds play a pivotal role in fostering a deep connection to heritage and maintaining the rich tapestry of Arabian identity for more than 9000 years.

Transporting falcons is a common practice in the Middle East. Additionally, it showcases the luxury and exclusivity associated with Arab culture.

Also, In the Arabian Peninsula, falconry—the sport of hunting with birds of prey—has a strong cultural and historical significance. This ancient custom is intrinsic to Arab culture and identity, having existed for thousands of years.  

a falcon is being ready for falconry and trained by a falconer
Falcon is being trained by falconer. Image:Shutterstock/Katiekk

Today, falconry is practiced by people of all ages in many countries. As an important cultural symbol in many of those countries, it is transmitted from generation to generation through a variety of means, including through mentoring, within families or in training clubs. The modern practice of falconry focuses on safeguarding falcons, quarries and habitats, as well as the practice itself.

While falconers come from different backgrounds, they share universal values, traditions and practices, including the methods of breeding, training and caring for birds, the equipment used and the bonds between the falconer and the bird. The falconry community includes supporting entities such as falcon hospitals, breeding centers, conservation agencies and traditional equipment makers.

For Arabs, Falcons represent courage, perseverance, determination and freedom, and In the contemporary world, falconry demonstrates how ancient practices can find a place.

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Bachelors in English Literature. Published a poetry book(author). Also in pursuit of multimedia journalism.

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