She wanted her own camel

Since she was a girl, Alyia wanted her own camel. In her tribe, only the men owned camels and the women owned things like tents and pots, but she wanted her own camel. To handle a camel, because camels are stubborn animals, a person had to be strong and clever, but Alyia was strong and clever. She was more strong and more clever than her father, who told her she couldn’t have her own camel. Alyia wove a blanket out of camel hair, and she traded that for a strong rope. She traded the rope for a knife, and she traded the knife for a goat, a nanny. She let the goat get pregnant and sold the kid for a camel saddle, a mahawi. She sold the nanny’s milk and eventually she bought gazing rights, more than enough for her goat, and then she offered grazing rights to a camel herder in return for his next calf. The calf was born and weaned and then it was hers, and it was a female. Now that she had her own camel, she started thinking about starting her own business. In the desert, owning two or three camels was like owning a ship.