Radiodiffusion Internasionaal Annexe

عبد الكريم عبد القادر , عبد المحسن المهنا, عبد اللطيف البناي, غريد الشاط, يوسف المهنا   
November 28, 2021, 1:00 am
Filed under: Kuwait

Our Camel Lovely Camel /هيدو

I told myself I wasn’t going to buy this single, but the song got stuck in my head. So, now it can get stuck in yours. Here’s the story behind the song:

Back in October 1981 Kuwait was playing a world cup qualifying match in Auckland, New Zealand where the Kiwi fans had signs reading “Go back to your camels!” which they were waving as the Kuwaiti team came onto the field. Kuwait won that match 2 goals to 1.

When it was the home game later that year, 100 camels were brought on the pitch before the match to show that Kuwait was proud of its past.

Kuwait ended up qualifying to the 1982 world Cup in Spain and was the first Arab country from Asia to ever qualify. A Spanish newspaper later claimed that the Kuwait national team will be late to the World Cup because they would be “traveling on the backs of their camels!”. So, the Kuwaiti Football Association decided to use a camel – named Haydoo – as their mascot.

Unlike the newspaper had predicted, the Kuwaiti team ended up arriving early. Too early actually and no one, not the journalists or the locals knew that the Kuwaiti team was even in Spain! To attract attention, the head of the Kuwaiti Football Association told a French journalist who there to cover the arrival of the French team that “The Kuwaiti team would withdraw from the competition unless they were allowed to bring their mascot.” Within hours the hotel was packed with journalists wanting to find out more about the mascot

The Spanish authorities and the hotel manager finally allowed the Kuwaiti team to bring their camel as long as it was left in the backyard of the hotel. The head of the Kuwaiti Football Association then called the minister of sport in Morroco to send a camel as soon as possible to Spain. He also ordered a T-shirt to be made for the camel. This hype and the Camel mascot helped make Kuwait’s presence extremely felt by the locals and journalists.

Haydoo, has been the mascot for the Kuwaiti national team ever since. [Source]

Catalog number BUZ 30 on Bou Zaid Phone of Kuwait, released 1982.

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