The Shmooze

Camel Race and the Erosion of the Bedouin Culture

By Alex Weisler

  • Print
  • Share Share
A camel race in the Moroccan desert.

When Israeli filmmakers Ezry Keydar and Nadav Ben Israel began making a documentary about a Bedouin man hoping to repopularize camel races, they had no idea his cause would become their fight, too.

Now, Keydar reveals, in a wide-ranging Los Angeles Times interview, his view that camels, and the disappearance of the once widely beloved camel race, have implications for a larger vanishing act: the erosion of Bedouin culture.

“Our choice of topic is not accidental. We see these people as the last of the Mohicans — they represent a vanishing culture,” the filmmaker said. “Sadly, Israel is working systematically to push this culture and its symbols into extinction.”

The interview also delves into the directors’ connection to Arab culture, their reasons for making the film and the logistics of running an actual camel race.

Keydar is currently helping to stage a camel race on a shuttered desert airstrip. The film, “Hump,” does not have a distributor or release schedule yet.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Mohicans, Ezry Keydar, Camels, Bedouin, Nadav Ben Israel

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.