The Wild West

Think that Muslims had nothing to do with the founding of the USA? Think again. Here’s a glimpse into Muslim influence on America:

In 1848, after a war, Mexico gave USA land covering Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas and parts of Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. Over half the area was desert with mountains. Roads hardly existed. Lt Crosman proposed in 1836 that the US use camels to explore this area. In 1854 Congress allotted $30,000 for the purchase of camels and establishment of a US Army Camel Corps. An expedition went to the Middle East docking at Tunis in 1855 to buy a camel for study. The Bey of Tunis gave them a gift of two more camels. They then went to Turkey and Egypt. By 1856, they had 3 Arab drovers and 33 camels and landed in Texas. A corral was built modeled on those of the Middle East. A 2nd buying trip brought 41 animals from Turkey. The Camel Corps was used to make roads in Texas and other areas. In 1861, Texas broke away from USA and schemes for using camels were set aside. The US Civil War put an end to the American experiment with camels which were auctioned off. Many ended up in circus circuits in USA and Mexico. By the 1870's, the last camels were released into the wild. Sightings were reported until 1941.

Hajj Ali was a legendary Old West figure of Arab origin. Born in Syria, he arrived with the 2nd shipment of camels in 1857 and helped handle them. He was nicknamed Hi Jolly, and took part in numerous camel projects in California and Arizona. He died in 1902. He was legendary for his skill with animals. In 1935, the State of Arizona commemorated him by erecting a stone pyramid, topped with a bronze camel, on his grave. Today, every January, the town kicks off its winter market and rodeo festival season with ‘Hi Jolly Daze’ featuring camel races. Z
Muslim influence shaped USA in some ways