Kozhikode (Kerala): India may not have qualified for next year’s FIFA World Cup, but it will be represented during the mega-sporting event by a replica of a traditional wooden dhow called ‘Uru’, made at Beypore here, which was used during ancient times for trade with Mesopotamia.

The 27 feet long all-wooden-and-coir yacht is being made to order at Beypore, historically famous for making Urus, by Chaliyam-based Haji PI Ahmed Koya and Company and would be showcased at the International Dhow Festival to be held at Qatar next year, coinciding with the FIFA World Cup.

The month-long mega sporting event is being held in the Middle East for the first time.

The traditional trading vessel replica, which is seven feet wide and six feet tall, is being made as it was done during the ancient times – when iron nails and metals were not used for shipbuilding – by using wooden nails and coir fibers to fasten the wooden planks.

“Four carpenters and four other skilled workers are engaged in the work of this vessel, which is made of all wood and coir-fiber. No iron nails are used, but only wooden ones as it were during the 11th and 12th centuries. The work involves 2,500 stitches and as many as 5,000 holes and months long effort,” Hamad Hashim, Managing Director of the company, told PTI, and added that the boat was almost finished, barring final touches.

The 11th century vessel replica would be ferried to Qatar in January next year in a shipping container.

Considered the biggest handmade craft anywhere in the world, the ‘Uru’ was used by Arabs for spice trade with Kerala and this was exactly the reason why the Qatar authorities wanted to display it as part of their history during the dhow festival and the World Cup, Hashim said.

The launching of the ‘Uru’ is a festive ceremony as the dhow slides down on the wooden rollers and touches the saline waters of the sea.

The famous Khalasis of Beypore would manage the pulleys and ropes to facilitate the wooden vessel to touch the waters, which takes a few days to complete.

One such huge 130 feet long ‘Uru’ made by Hashim’s company was rolled out the other day from the coast of Pattarmad in Chaliyam to the Doha coast.

Also read: FIFA unveils biennial World Cup plan, UEFA threatens boycott



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