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Camel Beauty Pageants

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Saudi Arabia is host to several camel beauty pageants each year (condemned as religiously fatuous by Muslim clerics), but the country's first goat beauty pageant was held in September in Riyadh, with the distinctive Najdi breed, featuring high nose bridges and silky, shaggy hair, taking top prizes. In fact, most of the goats in the competition had the same father, Burgan, whose progeny typically fetch the equivalent of $25,000 and up. Still, prize-winning show camels can bring 10 times that amount for the greater status they convey to their owners. Burgan himself did not appear at the pageant, according to a Reuters dispatch, because his owner feared that a jealous competitor would have an "evil eye" cast upon him.

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