Norway Eyes Icebreakers of the Desert

Sapa-AFP, Jan, 4 2006

Oslo—A rural region of Norway is planning to buy some camels to help refugees living there feel at home.

“Camels have been part of everyday life for many of our refugees,” Wenche Irene Stenseth, in charge of integrating refugees in Loeten, south-eastern Norway, said on Tuesday.

“Many have lived as nomads, (a life in which) the camel plays a central role.”

It is hoped that the camels, which will produce milk, meat and leather, will help create jobs for refugees who “only want to work and pay taxes”, Stenseth said.

Local tourism would also benefit from the initiative.

Loeten is planning to seek state financial aid to buy about 20 camels.

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