Anatole France, the 19th century renowned French man of letters, probably put it best when he said, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
The animal market at the Souq Waqif may not exactly be an embodiment of care where sellers are concerned, but it nevertheless never fails to pull in the crowds regardless of age and stage. So you will find that while some or many will frequent the old souq for its rich cultural vistas steeped in history, almost everyone, young and old, is attracted to the animal market.
It’s a rich field out there; expensive at times yes, but perhaps, never too expensive if your urge to provide a caring shelter is stronger. Interest in finding an animal for domestication may vary, but it’s hard not to be floored by the beauty of it all.
No wonder, you find children pushing their parents all the way for a bargain. A meeting point may be reached often, but not always, especially if the seller senses a child is ready to drive his or her parents to the edge!
Regardless, the atmosphere is one of colour, even pageantry, never mind the cacophony of man and animal at a happening rendezvous. Rich bargain or not, the hope for an animal finding a more caring hand is always evident — if not today, then another day.
May be it has to do with what the soulful poet in France observed so long ago. Ready to awaken the soul?
— Text by Kamran Rehmat, photos by Jayan Orma
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