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Pigeon Battles of Cairo: Egypt's High-Flying Sport

Pigeon Battles of Cairo: Egypt's High-Flying Sport
From Al Jazeera - September 17, 2017

Koka is a respected figure in Cairo's pigeon fighting world. His life revolves around preparing for the contests, in which whole neighbourhoods clash to hunt and capture each other's pigeons.

Away from the duels, he spends his time caring for the hundreds of pigeons he rears in a ramshackle wooden tower he has built on his roof.

Like numerous other breeders, Koka treasures the pigeons for their loyalty, discipline and the deep pride they bring him.

But his pigeon fighting days may be numbered.Coming from a conservative community, the 29-year-old is under immense pressure to quit his passion, get married and settle down.

Fearing that his next contest could be his last, Koka challenges one of Cairo's best pigeon fighting neighbourhoods. Will he cement his reputation as a great pigeon handler or lose his parting battle?

FILMMAKER'S VIEW

By Bence Mate

I stumbled upon the phenomenon of pigeon contests in Cairo while working on different topics in this mega city's endless suburbs. I was always impressed by the fragile wooden structures standing on rooftops all over the city, and I knew that they were connected to pigeons, but I would never have thought that there was a whole world up there with its own rules, even with its own language.

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