The root   j – m – l

In the Arabic language the  root  j – m – l  conveys the idea of beauty. Here are the English equivalents for these words.

jameel (m)


beautiful (masc.)
jameela (w) جميلة beautiful  (fem.)
jameela جميلة first name for female Jameela / Dschamila
jamaal جمال beauty
jamaal جمال first name for male  Jamal
ajmal أجمل more beautiful
tajmeel تجميل beautification, decoration,
Saaluun at-tajmeel صالون التجميل beauty salon
3amaliyya at-tajmeel عملية التجميل beauty operation
mujaamala مجاملة compliment
jamal جَمل camel (singular)
jimaal جِمال camels  (plural)

You might not believe it, but it is true: The camel is considered such a beautiful animal in Arab culture that its name consists of the root j-m-l, too.

Camel beauty contests

There are even beauty contests for camels in many Arab and Gulf countries where judges rate the size of the camels’  lips, cheeks, heads and knees.

And just when you think you’ve heard it all … A dozen camels have been disqualified from this year’s Saudi “camel beauty contest” because they were found to have had Botox injections to make them more handsome.

For Arabs, and especially Bedouins, nothing is more essential than the camel, which was used for centuries for food and transport.

Saudi authorities traditionally organise an annual month long camel festival with camel races, show competitions and auctions, where winning camels can fetch millions of riyals. The festival comprises food stalls and a petting zoo, a museum with sand sculptures of camels and stalls with camel milk and camel-hair textiles. There is even a planetarium which shows how Arabs rode camels through the desert guided only by the stars.

Not just beauty – pure breed counts

Oman, too, hosted  their annual Camel Beauty Contest, where camel owners from different regions across the Sultanate gather. However, unlike camel beauty competitions in other parts of the world, it’s not just about  beauty but also about pure breed. The camels participating are from a pure Omani breed and must be without any crossbreeding. A cross-bred camel can easily be spotted by the experts judging the camels.

To find out more about the Arabic root and pattern system, click here.

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