The 3rd International Falconry Festival Abu Dhabi, Dec.2014
Dear IAF Delegate, dear friend of IAF,
I had the pleasure to address the assembly at the opening of the Festival Conference:
"Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow falconers, a vision born in the desert over forty years ago brings us all together today. Forty years ago was a time when falcon numbers around the world were declining; falconers were blamed and were distrusted by conservationists and environmentalists. His Highness, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan – may god protect his soul, in his wisdom, organized the first Falconry Festival and Conference in Abu Dhabi. This brought together, for the first time, falconers, biologists and environmentalists."
"Today, we truly enjoy the Golden Age of Falconry. Never before have so many falconers flown their birds so well in so many different countries around the world. Through the patronage of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, falconry is secured through recognition of our heritage by UNESCO."
"Falconers are now better represented globally, by the IAF, supported by the generosity of Abu Dhabi and the Emirates Falconry Club, which has provided “start up” funding for our professional office and which allows us to employ our Executive Officer. Because of this, we are able to:
- Represent Falconry at all important international meetings and conventions.
- Monitor and influence regulation and legislation around the world which may influence falconry.
- Contribute meaningfully to the conservation effort in a range of ways.
- Work on measures to support the welfare of falconry raptors.
- Support and develop the culture of falconry.
"Today, we enjoy, at the 3rd Falconry Festival in Abu Dhabi, the greatest gathering of falconers in the history of the world. At this gathering we share the culture of falconry. This common experience gives us a common language which allows common understanding and is a real force for peace."
"I believe that I speak for all falconers when I thank our hosts for making this possible, for bringing us all together and for championing the cause of falconry. I would also like to thank all who have been involved in the organization of this event . It is an immense task which has been very well done. Your Excellencies - Shukran - You have given us memories which will last all our lives and which we will pass on to our grandchildren."