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Birdkeeping in the Middle East

A journey to Qatar and Kuwait reveals rare birds and hope for the future

By Julie Weiss Murad

As a young expatriate married woman, my former Kuwaiti in-laws gave me my first large parrot in 1972 as a welcome gift. When I think about that time in the early ‘70s, I recall many things: How far that wild caught yellow-naped Amazon had come from its original home in South America to end up for purchase in the souk (outdoor market) in Kuwait; how truly ignorant I was about the care of such a bird; and that there were zero resources available to me in Kuwait at that time to help me learn to care for a parrot.

I named her Sadiki, which meant little friend. I hardly remember the care that I provided her. In 1974, when I returned from the hospital after giving birth to my daughter, the cage and bird were missing from my front patio. I consoled myself and tried to remove my chronic sense of guilt by fervently hoping that some knowledgeable and caring person saw the dire straits in which I kept that bird and intervened in its future. I never learned what happened to my little friend.

**For the full article, pick up the February issue of BIRD TALK**

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Reader Comments
I wanted to thank you for publishing such a balanced and informative article. My long-time boyfriend is from (and still lives in) the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and I have personally come up against some of the same attitudes and beliefs as mentioned in the article. I have also searched for parrot related resources during my visits without much luck. But this does seem to be changing and people were very interested to hear what I had to tell them about my own birds. Although to some degree they did write me off as the "Crazy Canadian". I was very happy to hear about the Al Wabra sanctuary and will definitely plan a visit on my next trip. Thank you again!
Kenna, Edmonton, AB Canada, AE
Posted: 1/12/2007 2:43:08 PM
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