Episode 3, Season 3 / May 4, 2023

The Camel Experiment: The Legend of Hi Jolly

Camels, a legendary Muslim immigrant, and U.S. soldiers intersect in an unlikely celebration

The Prologue

The Prologue

In this episode, Marfa Public Radio’s Annie Rosenthal and Points South producer Christian Adam Brown revisit the unusual history found at the sites of OA contributor Sasha von Oldershausen’s essay, “The Camel Experiment.” Travel to Texas and meet Doug Baum and his Texas Camel Corps, survey the remnants of a mid-19th century military experiment that helped pave the way for the U.S.’s westward expansion. Follow along as Christian and Annie visit Quartzsite, Arizona, to learn about Hadji Ali, a Muslim immigrant who served as a military camel driver and is now memorialized as a folk hero.

Beyond The Prologue

Read Sasha von Oldershausen’s original essay

“The Camel Experiment” first appeared in Issue 104 of the Oxford American. Read the full story here.


Meet Doug Baum and his Texas Camel Corps

A short film by Rick Jacques