Sitting outside an oriental carpet shop in Highgate is a camel. Sami, for that’s the camel’s name is a life-size fibreglass camel who has sat outside the shop for the past 35 years, and is a bit of a local landmark.

The camel also received some tender loving care last year, when the owners of the shop commissioned Iranian artist Farzaneh Yousefi to restore the paintwork.

Poor Sami had been looking pretty dull by then, and she spent a week giving the camel’s coat a groom and redecorating the rugs and tassels, and the railings around Sami’s pen.

The owner of the shop and the camel, Mr Sakhai opened his shop on Highgate Road in 1984, and the camel arrived the following year, a present from a friend who had brought it over from “somewhere in Arabia”.

Sami was fed a diet of concrete to keep him in place and make sure no one camel-napped him one night.

It probably once had a person sitting on top, as there’s a solitary leg hanging out on the far side. But the original rider’s absence means that yes, little people are allowed to ride the camel.

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  1. Ricky says:

    Fascinating, thank you. Will look out for it next time I’m on the 214! One minor point – it’s not actually in Highgate. This is one of those areas that could be several places – in very rough order of likelihood Kentish Town, Tufnell Park, Dartmouth Park or Gospel Oak. But definitely not Highgate, even though it’s on Highgate Road and the building opposite is called Highgate Studios! This is why we love London……

    Happy New Year and thanks for keeping us all informed and entertained during these peculiar times.

  2. Mary says:

    Ian, you rascal! Going by your headline, I thought Sami had been stolen, concrete or no concrete! Phew! So glad he’s safe and sound, brightening passers-by’s days 😀

  3. Dan says:

    Use to walk past it daily. Would definitely say Kentish Town rather than Highgate though!

  4. Ben Neary says:

    It is situated on lady Somerset road. Which is where you will find Roger Lloyd packs former home (1987_2014). I think.

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