A tear-jerking clip of a Saudi boy devastated by the death of his young camel and refusing to leave him has gone viral, triggering tremendous compassion and gift offers from camel breeders.
The 46-second clip shows Sultan, five, crying, telling his father that he wants to stay with the camel and refuses to believe that it is dead. Sultan is also seen walking over to give the camel a loving kiss on the head.
“I offered the camel to Sultan when he was born so they grew together,” his father said. “He used to see him every day and the bond of friendship between them grew stronger over the months. However, the camel died on Saturday, and I had to pull it away from the others to a remote area for sanitary reasons. However, when it was time to leave, Sultan refused to go home with me, insisting on staying with the camel and kissing it while saying that he loved it,” the father said, quoted by Saudi news site Sabq.
The father said that he was surprised by the sight of his son crying over the camel and decided to record it to show it later to family members.
“I just wanted to share it with the family and I had no other intention,” he said. “However, someone from the family posted it on the internet and it went viral. I did not seek assistance or compassion from anyone, and in fact I offered Sultan a new young camel to compensate for the lost one,” he said.
People offered gifts and some camel breeders said they were touched by Sultan’s compassion and tears and said they wanted to give him young camels as gifts.
“I thanked all those who expressed their compassion and I appreciated their offers, but I had to apologise for not accepting their gifts,” the father said. “I eventually accepted only two young camels, a male and a female, and I am grateful to all for their compassion and support to Sultan,” he said.
Camel breeding is both a multi-million dollar industry and a favourite hobby in Saudi Arabia and although camels are no longer crucial in their lives, Saudis value them for their strong connection to their past as well as for meat, milk and racing. Beauty contests are also quite common.