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[RC] Report from UN on the camel jockey issue - Howard Bramhall

I'm going to respond on this topic and then I will try my best to shut up about it for awhile. I realize that I have spoken more than anyone else on this and, well, if it helps any, I'll try and apologize for that. I'm the unfortunate soul who seemed to be the first one to see this show on HBO and discuss it. I've done further research since then, watched the show 3 more times, written about the topic hoping to get a discussion going on, and contacted our State Department, via email and phone calls. I even spoke with the State Department representative who covers the UAE and Qatar.

I'm not a tree hugger. I don't try to save whales or other endangered species. I kind of keep to myself, even though I do talk a lot on the Internet but, my only real passion is my horses, my dogs and my family. If I saw a crime committed I probably wouldn't be the first one to call the police. I've had some bad experiences with the police so, my way would be to get my wife or someone else to make the call. I have problems dealing with authority figures. I have no idea how I survived 20 years in the Air Force because it's a problem I've had all my life. I do see a therapist. Part of my Air Force retirement benefits pay for it, and, it seems to help me more than not. I'm certainly not a leader nor am I a follower. I kind of go my own way in life.

I write more than I should on the Internet, I can't really tell you why I do this except to say it's most likely connected to my therapy. I would never run for any kind of political office, it's not the reason I write on Ridecamp or this site. I have way too many skeletons in my closet for such a thing and, because I can't seem to keep my mouth shut, that closet is wide open for all to see.

I mention all of this because I can't think of anything recently that has ever motivated me as much as this camel jockey slavery taking place in the UAE. The fact that these kids are so young, that their lives are so miserable, has upset me to such an extent that it has made me want to actually go out and do something about it. Action is most definitely required here. And, it wasn't just the show, like I said, I did further research on this subject and found it to be not only true, but, something that has been going on for quite sometime. How did we not know about this?

I used to be naive enough to have thought that slavery was eradicated in this world of ours long ago. Yes, I realize there are exceptions, but I really thought they were not true "slavery" situations, more like Mafia run enterprises or a few events happening in remote regions of AFrica. I never thought, for a moment, that the UAE was involved in the slave traffic of young children, boys, to be specific. Age 3 to 9. Sometimes, they abduct babies waiting for them to become old enough to put on a camel.

After seeing the show, doing research on the Internet, and speaking with our State Department representative who covers that area of the world (UAE/Qatar) I am quite convinced that this is happening. That it is directly connected to the Sheihks who run the UAE. For those of you who
don't know, Emirates is another word for Sultan/Prince/Sheikh. It means a country run by kings. The head Sheik of the UAE, their president, is an endurance rider. So is Sheikh Mohammed, head of Defense, who is the number one International endurance sponsor from this country. We do business with them through FEI endurance riding (they pay for our elite riders to ride in their country) and through the Emirates (please, pay attention to that word) Endurance Village from whom we've accepted money, which is directly run by these Sheikhs.

This Village is not some sort of independent enterprise detached from the Sheikhs. The Sheikhs developed plans for the village, they paid for the village and this village would not exist if not for them. Please, don't delude yourselves into thinking this VIllage is not part of the Sheikh's holdings or is somehow not connected to them. That is not the case. Like I said, look at the name. "Emirates" Village. They drew up the plans, paid for the construction and approved it's existence. They own the place.

I hate to keep repeating myself but I really have to ask how on earth can anyone associated with AERC even contemplate continuing to do business with these slave traders? Why are only a few of us totally outraged over all of this? Have we completely lost touch with reality here? What is right, what is wrong? Is it really all just about money and as long as money is involved, we will actually look the other way here? I just cannot believe that. I refuse to believe that.

Please, look at this seriously. It's incredible to me that there are those in our organization who are willing to overlook this type of criminal activity. To go along with it or to look the other way. To continue doing business as usual, as if these young boys don't matter or don't exist. I hope to meet some of you face to face, sometime soon, who feel that we should continue doing business with these criminals. I want you to explain to me, in person, your rationale here. I just don't get it.


Please find attached a link to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery dated July, 2004.


This report states that the UAE has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, however the practice is on-going. Although illegal, this documents states that the practice continues in the UAE. Please read this report and form your own opinion.

   Cathy Grimes
   Cell:  303-589-4441
   Voice:  303-755-6267
   Fax:  303-745-3515

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