Saudi Arabia: Cockfights create an atmosphere of euphoria


Euphoria is medically recognized as a mental and emotional condition in which a person experiences intense feelings of well-being, elation, happiness, excitement, and joy.

Technically, euphoria is an affect, but the term is often colloquially used to define emotion and an intense state of transcendent happiness combined with an overwhelming sense of contentment. (source)

– Gameness til the End

Passion for cockfights refuses to die out despite ban

Saudi Gazette report

updated: Monday, April 28, 2014 12:04 AM

Cockfighting remains a popular sport in many parts of the Kingdom despite an official ban.
The picture shows two roosters in action at the pigeon market in Najran. — Courtesy photo

NAJRAN — Every Saturday between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. cockfighting rings are set up at Najran’s bird market, which is known as the pigeon market. Despite the fact that this sport is banned in the Kingdom and around the world it seems the law does not deter anyone from participating.

The cockfights attract hobbyists of different age groups from within the Kingdom and abroad.

The hobbyists showcase different kinds of birds in the market and purchase the kinds they like. On the sidelines of the buying and selling, cockfights are held. The exciting matches attract large crowds of onlookers.

The cockfights create an atmosphere of euphoria for those who watch the sport as well as the owners of the birds. The price of a winning rooster may go up several times, Al-Madinah daily reported.

Special breeds of birds are raised for cockfights in Najran and neighboring regions in a tradition that has been going on for hundreds of years. The onlookers make a ring around the two cocks fighting in a fierce match, which is governed by specific rules and supervised by veteran referees.

Muhammad Al-Yami, a Saudi national, said several youths in the market enjoy raising special breeds of roosters to take part in the sport, which they see as an opportunity to showcase their courage and fighting spirit.

The scene is teeming with many fans and customers milling around. The winning cocks are sold at an auction and the prices may increase multiple times, especially when the competition gets tough.

As for the rules of the game, Abdullah Dhafer, a Saudi national, said cockfights in other countries continue until one of the birds die, but they do not reach this level in the Kingdom as it is considered forbidden.

Usually, the cocks fight for a fixed period and whoever withdraws first loses the fight. Sometimes the match ends in a draw if the two cocks remain steadfast in confronting each other. He said cockfights still exist in several regions of the country despite the fact that its popularity has waned.

Raiy Bekair, a Saudi who breeds cocks, said birds raised for cockfights receive special care especially when they are injured. Bekair said they take the cocks to a veterinarian for checkups and treatment after the fight.

Cockfighting is very popular in several countries of the world, such as Mexico and Uzbekistan where people bet for the winning cock.

Championship fights are organized by fans of the sport. Sometimes the cocks are given stimulants to increase their capability to endure the fight and increase their chances of winning. Cockfights are considered a traditional sport by some people, but others consider it cruelty to animals. As a result, the sport is banned in most countries of the world.

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