Article by Andrei Crăiţoiu, Dan Udrea – Published on Thursday, 24 November 2022, 12:52 / Updated on Thursday, 24 November 2022 14:33
Perhaps the most shocking contrast between what exists in Qatar versus what we have in our country is the way the conditions are presented in the medical clinic where the falcons are cared for, a bird for which the Qataris make a real cult, much more than what we have in our hospitals, especially the state ones. The cleanliness, efficiency, availability and above all the equipment are incredible, superior to any hospital in Romania. The hospital also contains a falconry museum and is located next to the shops where the birds are trained and fed.
- Gazeta Sporturilor is, with the exception of TVR, the only media institution in Romania that sends 4 journalists to the final tournament in Qatar;
- Ovidiu Ioanițoaia, Dan Udrea, Remus Răureanu and Andrei Crăițoiu broadcast from Doha during the competition.
Many things are incredible in Doha, but one really blows you away. Especially us, as Romanians. Namely: Falcon Hospital. Yes, you heard that right. There is also such a thing. And not only does it exist, it looks stunning. In a way that probably no state hospital in Romania shows.
As in the Arab world, but especially in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the Falcon is regarded as something sacred, in Doha a medical center was built, where those falcons who have problems can get the best possible assistance.
GSP visited the Falcon Hospital in Doha
The hospital is in an extremely luxurious building, right next to the Old Square, where there are dozens of shops where the falcons are trained and fed, and which can be viewed very closely by tourists. But the Hospital really shocks you.
Not necessarily that it exists, but that you realize that there are countries where even the birds have better conditions than the suffering people in Romania.
From the moment you step into the clinic, you realize that everything is 5 stars. Anyway, in Qatar, absolutely everywhere, cleanliness is the letter of the law, but here perfection is achieved. The location also has a personified coat of arms, a falcon framed by a red crescent and two feathers, under which is written: Souq Waqif Falcon Hospital (See photo gallery).
Four levels, over 40 cabinets
Careful! There are 6 (SIX) reception and emergency reception points, so that if several people arrive at the same time with sick falcons, they will not have to wait in the hallways, as unfortunately happens in most of our hospitals. But with people, not falcons or animals.
It is enough to look at the painting at the reception, which shows everything the hospital contains, to understand what is happening here. There are over 40 offices or locations, on 4 different levels. From endoscopy and radiography, to microbiology and toxicological analysis.
The hospital even has a room where the falcons are washed, but also an incinerator, for those who cannot be saved and die.
And the museum in the Falconry Hospital in Doha is impressive
On the ground floor of the building there is also a museum, but which also serves as a complete information about what a falcon means. It shows in detail how the brain of this bird looks, but also the musculature and especially the beak and claws, but also the plumage.
One panel is dedicated exclusively to falcon eggs, and another shows what falcons usually feed on: mostly pigeons, but also small rodents, such as voles, mice.
In the middle of the museum is the stand with the most important exhibits in the world regarding falcon species. Including the Danube falcon, the one we also find in Romania. And which, with the coming of winter, migrates to the south of the Globe.
30 vetsworks in the Falcon Hospital in Doha
1999It’s the year in which the first Falcon Hospital in the world opened, the one made in the United Arab Emirates, in Abu Dhabi
Spectacular report from the Falcon Hospital in Doha: the employees are mostly Muslim
Almost everyone who works in that hospital is of Muslim origin. This is not accidental, but it is believed that the Arabs develop more empathy towards these birds, because the falcon was and is for thousands of years extremely loved, appreciated and respected in this part of the world.
In fact, for thousands of years, the Bedouin have used falcons to catch their prey. The falcons were trained and helped the Bedouins because of their main qualities: sight, developed speed, agility, but also endurance during a hunt.
A control 130 lei, an x-ray is 25 lei
The prices in the Hospital are not high enough for anyone to afford to have access. For example, a full check for a falcon costs 100 Qatari riyals, which is around 130 lei. An x-ray is only 20 rials, 25 lei, while no fees are charged for a day of hospitalization.
1792is the year in which the Danube falcon is mentioned for the first time in Romania, in the chronicles of ruler Mihai Suțu from Wallachia, who noted about “a harvest of raptors from the 10 subcarpathian plains”
New figures about falcons
- 400 kilometers per hour is the speed a hawk can reach when swooping down on prey
- 120 kilometers per hour is the speed developed by falcons when they follow their prey in flight
- 8 kilometers is the distance from which a falcon sees potential prey
- 25,000 kilometers a falcon can travel during a migration, being a bird recognized as having impressive endurance in flight
- 173,000 The most expensive falcon ever bought in the Gulf is $100,000 and was bought by a Saudi Arabian prince
Arabs spend 40 million dollars a year on falcons!
Because the falcon population has been declining for the past hundred years, the financially powerful Arab countries are investing staggering sums to protect the species. 40 million dollars are spent annually by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar on programs to protect, repopulate and buy falcons.
According to latodis-med.com, the sheikhs and emirs of these states concluded a program with the Mongolian authorities whereby they built and installed numerous artificial nests in Mongolia for the falcons there, receiving in exchange a certain number of baby falcons.
The program has proven to be a huge success, with falcon numbers growing exponentially over the past decade.
A prince transported 80 falcons by plane :))
5 years ago, perhaps the most edifying event took place that shows what the falcon means in the culture of Arab countries. A prince from Saudi Arabia has transported an impressive collection of falcons on board a plane as well. But the birds did not travel in the hold or cages, but exactly as passengers, being created special places for them (photo below).
Many of the Gulf airlines allow falcons and are assimilated as passengers, but there is an additional fee of over $600. They also need a passport, and the United Arab Emirates has so far issued more than 30,000 such documents.
Falcons are petted, fed and scented
In Piața Veche, right next to the Hospital dedicated to them, falcons can be found everywhere in specialty shops. One of the oldest buildings was made available to them, precisely to give authenticity and value to the cult for this bird.
But the shops contrast with the hospital. It doesn’t offer good conditions at all, the smell is bad inside and the birds look tortured, although artificial fences have been created for them with some kind of artificial turf glued on. Most of the falcons stand with hoods over their eyes and are tied by one of their legs to the ring stuck to the panel.
They seem tormented at times, especially when they fall by the board. Instead, their caretakers are extremely attentive to them and pamper them non-stop. Even during our visit, a falcon was being stroked on its feathers, then washed and even given some kind of perfume.
Then he would be hooded and seated in his place. There is also an outdoor location where the hawks bask in the sun. Here they are fed chicken meat, which is later sliced and offered to the birds.
I witnessed how a falcon is bought
In one of these shops, a local man came in and after looking at the exhibits he chose one to have a closer look at. The head of the store took the falcon, put it on a special stand, after which he began the whole ritual: the falcon was weighed, then measured with a tape measure: length, span, absolutely everything.
The buyer also wanted to take some photos, but the hawk wasn’t looking straight at his phone. The keeper snapped his fingers twice in the direction of the camera, the falcon immediately became attentive, much to the satisfaction of the buyer. Then he stroked his chest.
More reports from Doha:
They welded the channels, sealed the doors! This is how Qatar maintains security in the stadiums of the World » Only FIFA produced chaos
The World Cup has changed the rules in Qatar » Football puts Hijab, Burka and Niqab next to mini skirts and bare navels. The telling photo captured in the Old Square