Camel Technology Breakthrough

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The U.A.E. fixes a human rights problem:

DUBAI  -- Three years after robots replaced human jockeys, camel racing has lost none of its allure in the UAE and has become more accessible for expatriates and tourists, authorities said yesterday as the Dubai racing season wound up.

"It is safer and more comfortable," Rashid al Swadi, the deputy manager of the Dubai Camel Racing Club, said minutes after the final race. "This has always been a popular sport. We upgraded the traditions of our fathers and grandfathers."

The UAE and other Gulf countries were previously criticised because of the use of children as camel jockeys. The practice is now banned in the UAE.

This and other changes are making the sport more accessible to non-Emiratis, according to Dr Ulrich Wernery, the scientific director of the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory in Dubai, who has been following camel racing for decades. "It was a very good impetus," he said."Racing is slowly becoming more and more popular, especially with tourists. Before visitors were not allowed in with cameras. There were checkpoints and police everywhere and it was very tense. Now you can go everywhere you want."

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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