Lazam Najd, Suwayti stallion from Saudi Arabia

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 23rd, 2014 in Saudi

Pauline Lagmay of Jedda, in Saudi Arabia, sent me these photos of the asil Arabian stallion, Lazam Najd, a Suwayti, who is in her care. This beautiful stallion, by Haleem out of Ghazalet Najd, was featured in a video on this blog a few years ago. That’s a strain originally from the Sharif of Mecca, by the way.



Annotations to Lady Anne Blunt’s Journals and Correspondence

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 23rd, 2014 in General

Lady Anne’s Journals and Correspondence, edited by Rosemary Archer and James Fleming, and published by Alexander Heriot & Co. Ltd Booksellers and Publishers in 1986, is, together with the Abbas Pasha Manuscript (Forbis and Sherif), the most important publication on the Arabian horse in recent memory.

I have read it time and again, and I keep marveling at its editors skill and effort in transcribing hundreds of handwritten letters and journal entries, and put them in their proper historical context. That said, neither editor is an Arabist, to my knowledge, and, in light of Lady Anne’s lifelong relationship with the Arab world and the large number of Arabic proper and common names in her Journals, this seems to be prevented them from properly transcribing many of these Arabic names; in some cases, lady Anne may have been the source of the mis-trancsription.

So I have ventured to makes notes of and document these corrections in a separate page of this blog, and substantiate these annotations and corrections with evidence, in the hope that further editions could take them into account, or at leastbe aware of them. This ongoing effort will be found at


Tribal Origins of Saudi Horses at Inshass Stud

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 21st, 2014 in Saudi

There appears to have been a senior stallion at the Sa’ud Royal Studs in the 1940s of the strain of Obeyan el Seifi (correct spelling Suyayfi, a strain well referenced in the Abbas Pasha Manuscript); he is the sire of several mares and one stallion sent as gifts to King Faruk of Egypt.

One of these mares is Hind (b. 1942), whose family spread worldwide; another is Nafaa (b. 1941), which is frequently discussed on this blog, although she has a much smaller family. According to the Inshass Original Herd Book (IOHB), Obeyan el Seifi had two more offspring that went to Egypt but did not leave any modern day progeny: a mare, Durra (b. 1943), out of a “Sa’adaa el Debdab”, and a stallion, Mabrouk (b. 1943), out of “Sowaytia ben Kowyel”.

These are grossly misspelt names of prominent Bedouin leaders, but the way they were misspelt does give us clues some about the horses origins. Here’s how:

“El Debdab” is actually El Deydab (better spelling: al-Daydab), a Bedouin leader of the Suwaylimat tribe (a part of the Jlass, which is the ‘Anazah confederation headed by the Ruwalah), and early supporter of the Saudi monarchy; they are now settled in the Northern Borders province of Saudi Arabia, east of ‘Ar’ar, and have their own settlement there, Hijrat al-Daydab, where there current leader, Jamal Hajras al-Daydab, lives. I know they had a marbat of Sa’adan (don’t know if Sa’adan Tuqan though), so a mare by the name of “Sa’adaa [of] el Deydab” makes a lot of sense.

It makes even more sense when you notice that the difference between the Arabic letter “b” (for “el Debdab”) and the Arabic letter “y” (for “el Deydab) is a single dot, and that the two letters are often mistaken for each other in Arabic writing. Incidentally, what such an error reveals is that there was indeed an original Arabic document, from which such information was translated into English, and that the Inshass stud clerk’s (understandable) ignorance of the identity of a Bedouin leader like el Deydab led them to mis-translate his name into English (or whatever European language they translated it to).

“Ben Kowyel” is actually Ben Koweyd (better spelling Ibn Quwayyid), the supreme Sheykh of the Dawasir tribe; the current leader of the tribe is Maran ibn Mit’ab ibn Quwayyid; the Ibn Quwayyid in the 1940s must have been his father Mit’ab ibn Fayhan ibn Quwayyid, or his grandfather Fayhan ibn Zabin ibn Quwayyid, and they had a fine marbat of Suwayti (which they probably got from their ‘Utaiba or Harb neighbors), so a “Sowaytia [of] Ben Kowyed” makes a lot of sense.

It even makes more sense when you realize that the Arabic letter “l” (for “Kowyel”) looks like a large Arabic letter “d” (dal) (for “Kowyed”), especially when written in more formal Arabic handwriting. In a fashion very similar to the situation above, the spelling mistake reveals the existence of original documentation in Arabic about this “Sowaytia ben Kowyed”. Such original documentation must have been mis-transcribed in the Inshass studbook by Egyptian clerks unaware of who Ibn Quwayyid / Ben Kowyed was.

I find it interesting that errors in the Inshass studbook can be so revealing about the background of these desert-bred horses from Saudi Arabia. The dams of Durra and Mabrouk, originally belonging to senior tribal leaders, like al-Daydab and Ibn Quwayyid, appear to have been handed over (perhaps as gifts, perhaps by coercion) to King ‘Abd al-Aziz Aal Saud, when the latter was implementing his policy of settling the Bedouin tribes and taking their horses from them. The sire, Obeyan el Seifi, appears to have been from the royal Saudi Studs. The offspring were sent as gifts to Egypt’s kings.

If only we had similar (or similarly mistaken) information for Hind and Nafaa, we would be able to trace their tribal origins in the same way.

Thorayyah, 1946 Tuwayssah mare from Bahrain

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 20th, 2014 in Bahrain

Kina Murray kindly shared with me this rare photo of the 1946 Bahraini bay mare *Thorayyah, which was recently posted by a research group on Facebook; she was bred by Sheikh Khalifah Bin Mohamed Al Khalifah, Bahrain, then imported by to the USA John Rogers of California. She was apparently by a Hathfan out a Tuwayssah.

Unfortunately, she left no asil descendants.


The Ali Pasha Sharif Memoranda of Lady Anne Blunt

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 20th, 2014 in Egypt

Lady Anne Blunt’s Journals entry for December 31, 1907 (page 327) contains this interesting mention (in relation to the Ali Pasha Sharif stallion Harkan):

 “I must go through the Ali Pasha Sherif Memoranda that I have with Mutlak, hhe will be able to clear up several points.”

An excerpt of a much earlier Journal entry, made on March 5th, 1891, gives one example of these memoranda (in bold, below), about the stallion Amir (Aziz x Horra) the purchasing of which Lady Anne was then considering:

“I copy out the memorandum Mr Flemotomo enclosed to us from the Pasha on the following day. 

“Grey horse Seglawi Jedran of Ibn Sudan, son of Horra, sister of Wazir, sire chestnut horse (Aziz) Dahman Shahwan son of the daughter of the daughter of the mare of Makadan. Foaled the — 1297. Price 200 (). His name Amir.” 

“N.B. I have inserted the name of Aziz as in other memorandum it is put in, see below. I hope we may be able to buy this horse.”

Another memorandum follows in the same Journal entry, with less details:

“The second shown us was a chestnut colt 5–6 years old [...] he is described by Ali Pasha Sherif as follows:

“Son of bay mare (Nurah) Doheym Nejib. Sire, Aziz. Foaled 5th Rabia el avval 1303.”

From these entries it can be gathered that the Ali Pasha Sharif memoranda are short informative documents, not unlike hujaj, where Ali Pasha mentioned information on color, strain, marbat, dam, sire, date of birth, name and sometimes price. The one for Amir contains extra information on his sire Aziz being “ibn bint bint faras Nakadan” (not Makadan).

The purpose of this entry will make more sense when the next entry comes up.

Story of Kuhalyan Harqan as case study

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 20th, 2014 in General

Yesterday, I spent some time reading the story of al-Kuhaylah al-Harqah in the Abbas Pascha Manuscript (not the English version of Forbis and Sherif, but rather the large excerpts in Hamad al-Jassir’s Usul al-Khayl al-Arabiyyah al-Hadithah).

The story of al-Harqah is remarkable for its simplicity (it’s not hard to follow), its conciseness (relative to other strains’ long-winded accounts in the Manuscript), its consistency (most witnesses interviewed relate the same story) and its comprehensiveness (from the originating Kuhaylat ‘Ajuz down to the mares that went to Abbas Pasha). For all these reasons it could serve as a case study of how strains changed hands and moved from tribe to tribe in Bedouin Arabia. The story is also remarkable as an account of how strains names are formed, an account of several Bedouin customs and traditions, and it can also be used to reconstruct a rough chronology. I would like to document all this at some point.

Here’s a summary of how the strain got its name:

A Kuhaylat al-‘Ajuz mare was part of the ransom the Shammar (then all in the Jabal Shammar) asked the captured Sharif of Mecca to pay in return for his freedom; a descendant of this mare (still a Kuhaylat al-Ajuz with the Shammar) was born in the midst of day so had the tips of her ears cut per Bedouin tradition; the blade missed, and instead sliced through the whole ear, a part of which dropped down, so the filly was called “al-Ru’ayl”. A descendant of al-Ru’ayl was stolen from the Shammar by people from Jawf al-Yaman (in Northern Yemen today); a descendant of the stolen mare went from the people of Jawf al-Yaman to the Aal Murrah Bedouins when these were in nearby Najran; that mare, by then referred to as a Kuhaylat al-Ru’ayl, was taken in war by the Ajman from the Aal Murra; at the Ajman, a daughter of this mare, sire by a Kuhaylan Jellabi was being kept inside the tent during the cold,  she lied down in the hearth were coffee was being made, the remaining embers burned her side, and she hence became known as “al-Harqa” (“the burnt one”). That burnt mare al-Harqah was taken in war by a man of the Qahtan as she was in shackles, and Muhammad ibn Qarmalah the Shaykh of the Qahtan bought her from that man. At the Qahtan, the filly that was burnt had many descendants that spread among the tribes, where they became known as Kuhaylat al-Harqa. A daughter of the burnt filly was taken in war from under Muhammad ibn Qarmalah by Ibn Hathleen, Sheikh of the Ajman, but the man to whom the strain belonged to within the Ajman (see above) claimed her under trover.

My remarks here:

— According to the Lesan al-Arab (one of the oldest and most comprehensive Arabic dictionaries), the  word “ra’al” means the strong (even excessive) stabbing or cutting with a sword, spear, dagger, etc., which means that al-Ru’ayal is he/she who is stabbed or cut in that way; so the first name of the strain (Kuhaylat al-Ru’ayl) is indeed a reference to the accident that befell a filly of that Kuhaylat al-Ajuz line while at the Shammar .

— The account refers to at least six different ways horses could change hands in Bedouin Arabia: first, as ransom for an important prisoner of war; second, planned theft (hihyafah); third, during war by unhorsing its rider (qila’ah or as Bedouins pronounced it, gla’a); fourth, buying and selling; fifth, while raiding another camp by surprise and untying a mare from that camp (akhadaha wa hiya muqayyadah), and sixth, claim under trover (‘irafah) — more on this one separately.

— The account indicates that the original Kuhaylah ‘Ajuz of the Sharif of Mecca was held in such high repute that she was deemed worthy to be part of the Sharif’s ransom. Remember that the Sharif of Mecca was one of the most important person in Arabia at that time, equal to the Sultan of Mascate and Oman (and their dependencies including Zanzibar and the East African coast) and to the Imam of Yemen.

— There is an interesting reference to the practice of letting precious fillies into the tent when the weather is cold, and to these fillies being confined (muqayyadah) inside the tent, where they could wander freely.

— There another interesting cultural reference to the practice (known from other sources) of cutting the tips of foals ears, when these are born in the midst of day; that practice even gave its name to a horse strain (the Wadhna).

— There is evidence of systematic in-breeding at Ibn Qarmalah, in excerpts I did not mention above: son to mother, father to daughter, grand-sire to grand-daughter, and brother to sister. More on this later.

— There is much more than can be added, in commentary, and I will update this entry from time to time.

First Roots of Kuhaylan al-Ajuz

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 20th, 2014 in General

Now that I have read the Abbas Pasha Manuscript — the equivalent of the Bible for Arabian horses — from cover to cover a fair number of times, I have learned that all Kuhaylan ‘Ajuz horses originate from two wellsprings: the Sharif of Mecca in the Hijaz, and the major tribe of Qahtan, and more specifically the Qahtan sub-tribe of ‘Abidah in Wadi Tathlith (SW Saudi Arabia). I don’t know yet what the connections between these two sources are.

The story of al-Harqah (originally a Kuhaylat ‘Ajuz) is illustrative of the horses that came out of the Sharif of Mecca.




Mlolshaan Mahrous Bahraini stallion in the UK

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 17th, 2014 in Bahrain

This magnificent stallion is a gift from the King of Bahrain to the Queen of English. Photo from the Arabian Horse World Magazine.

Gilad Ibn Dubloon, 2008 Kuhaylan Hayfi stallion

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 17th, 2014 in General

In my opinion, this is one of the best up and coming Davenport stallions. He is almost perfect, and very reminiscent of 1960s Davenport stallions. He is by Dubloon CF out of Genuine Tes LD by Tesio CF.

Haziz, asil Dahman Shahwan stallion in Canada

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 16th, 2014 in Bahrain, Saudi

I really enjoy the images Lee Oellerich sends me from British Columbia, Canada from time to time, and I have the highest regard for how his taste in breeding, what he selects for, and what he achieves with his herd of Saudi and Bahraini-origin Arabian horses.

This is an absolute favorite, the 2002 Dahman (and yes that’s Dahman Shahwan) stallion Haziz (Bahri x Haulaifah by Naizahq).

Lee, if you read this, I hope all is well with you. I miss our talks.

Haziz 10 15

Haziz 10-14


The wonderful Sportin Life

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 15th, 2014 in General

A Kuhaylan Al Krush of Davenport breeding. In real life, did he look as good and as deserty as in this picture and others? Who is his best offspring today? What powerful shoulder he had and what short back! where do you find this today? Bred by Charles Craver.

Asil Kuhaylan Aafas stallion in Hail, Saudi Arabia

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 15th, 2014 in Bahrain

In an earlier thread, Ahmad al-Tamimi share pictures of his wonderful, and very well built, asil Bahraini Kuhaylan Aafess stallion in Hail, Saudi Arabia. An antique horse for sure, of which he can be proud.

Rabdaan Aseer from Bahrain at Jenny Lees

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 15th, 2014 in Bahrain

This is my favorite Bahraini horse outside Bahrain. He is standing at stand at Jenny Lees’ but unfortunately not available to public stud. More photos on Jenny’s website. I love the bone structure on the face.

Nuhra, 1936 Wadhnah mare from Bahrain to the UK

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 14th, 2014 in Bahrain

Nuhra was a 1936 bay mare presented by the ruler of Bahrain to the British Earl of Athlone during his and wife’s visit to Bahrain in 1939. She was by a Kuhaylan Jellabi stallion out of a Wadhnah Khursaniyah mare.

In light of the habit of Arab Sheykh’s of maintaining only a handful of stallions for breeding, especially at that time of pre-oil discovery when resources were scarce, I wonder whether that Kuhaylan Jellabi stallion is the same as “Old Speckled Jellabi I” presented in old age to Crown Prince Saud in 1937″, as per the table of Bahraini stallions here. Dates certainly match. Unless they maintained two Jellabi stallions at the same time, which is probable.

Nuhra 1936 Wadhna

More photos of the Bahraini Kuhaylan Aafess stallion that went to Poland

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 9th, 2014 in Bahrain


Images from, by way of URL photo link

“She outraced all of them by far”

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 9th, 2014 in General

In Barghi Ibn Dirri’s own words, in my translation of the hujjah his mare Meshura, a Saqlawiyah Jadraniyah of Ibn Dirri, who was bought by Lady Anne Blunt, and she was Pharaoh’s sister, Azrek’s maternal aunt, and a close relative of Basilisk’s:

I declare that I took part ina raid with a group of fourty five horsemen from the Fid’an, their military commander being Mashi [illegible name likely al-Sahim] al-Khrisi, and the raid was on [...] al-‘Issa from Ahl al-Shamal and with them Bani Sakhr [...] and I was riding this Saglawia and she outraced all of them by far and I took the camels [away] and brought them back [to the camp] and the remaining horses [two illegible words, likely 'stayed behind'] / then my son [...] took part in a raid on her, with the Fid’an al-Wuld, and the Saba’ah, and he [two illegible words] / on Ibn Sha’lan and he killed [illegible first name, likely Mahbus] son of Kunay’ir ibn Sha’lan, and the horses [taking part in the raid] were more than five hundred on that day, and Jad’aan Ibn Mahayd was present and she outraced all the horses, and my son took camels [away] and brought them back [to the camp] before the other horses entered [the camp] and she was only joined by a Kuhaylah al-Musinnah, a bay, the mare of Dahir ibn Shayi’ al-Mahaydi, and she was the one which Jad’an had bought and returned / and the raid was long and very far, so much that the [two illegible words, of which one verb] and the camels [taken in the raid] did not reach [our camp] / and other than these two raids, we did not raid on her because she is dear [to us] and [illegible word] among us.” 

Meshurano longer has asil descendants, but her close relative Basilisk still does, and it’s partly because of Barghi’s statement above that I was keen on obtaining a Basilisk descendant (DA Ginger Moon, who traces to Basilisk through Rabanna) — and by the way, that sub-listing of Basilisk in the Blue Arabian Horse Catalogue does not make any sense to me. The Blunts were so consistently weeding out foundation stock that did not meet their high expectations in terms of provenance and authenticity, that their decision to keep the female line of Basilisk at Crabbet long after other lines had been eliminated, and even more, to use stallions from that line (e.g., Berk, a great-grand-son) speaks in favor of the authenticity of the line.

DA Ginger Moon in foal to Bahraini stallion Solomon

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 8th, 2014 in Bahrain

If case you had been wondering what this spat of blog entries on Bahraini horses was all about, here is the answer: my most recent acquisition DA Ginger Moon (DB Destiny Moniet x Kumence RSI by Monietor RSI) was just checked in foal to the 28 year old Bahraini stallion Mlolshaan Hager Solomon, at Bill Biel’s in Michigan. This is such an exciting development I can’t wait for the foal already (and it’s a damn 11 months to go!)

All this time I had been trying to learn more about these Bahraini horses, and wanting to share some of what I have been finding.


New photo of Muhammad Ibn Rashid of Hail, Jabal Shammar

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 8th, 2014 in Saudi

A relatively recent revised edition of Abdallah al-Bassam’s (Lady Anne Blunt’s acquaintance from ‘Unayzah in Qassim) book “Tuhfat al-mushtaq fi akhbar Najd wa al-Hijaz wa al-‘Iraq” (edited by Ibrahim al-Khalidi, pub. Kuwait, 2000) has this photo that claims to represent the Emir of Hail Mohammad Ibn Abdallah Ibn Rashid of Hail (Lady Anne Blunt’s host in Hail in Jabal Shammar). It is the second representation of him I have ever seen, and the first on a horse.

Has anyone seen this photo before? From which book was it picked? or was it unpublished before?

Look at that horse.. shouldn’t we go back to breeding like that?

Claimed to be Mohammad ibn Rashid of Hail

New discovery in the hujjah of the Davenport stallion *Azra

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on September 29th, 2014 in General

In the same vein as the new information pertaining to the hujjah of the mare *Jedah, I thought I’d try my luck and look up the Bedouin owner of the Davenport import *Azra in the same table of Fad’aan clan. And it worked.

*Azra is a Saqlawi Ubayri from the marbat of Muharib al-Kharraz of the Makathirah section of the Fad’aan (a section similar in level to the ‘Aqaqirah). A search for the Makathirah section yielded the following:

“The fourth section of the Khrisah [a large sub-tribe of the Fad'aan] is al-Makathirah, and their elder/leader is al-Mad-hun [...] and their way cry is “the horse rider of al-Balha is a Kathiri” [Kathiri is singular, Makathirah is plural of the same]; and their ancestor is Sulayman also known as the Elderly (al-‘Awd) and they are the most numerous of the Khrisah sections; and Sheykh Saleh al-Mad-hun indicated that Sulayman has six offspring, and they are (i) Qutn; (ii) [...] and from Qutn come Saqr and Muhammad, and from Saqr come Rabih and [...]; and from Rabih come Shafe’ and Nafe’ and Falah al-Muqafe’ and they are known as al-Kharareez [plural of al-Kharraz], and the meaning of al-Kharz is the stabbing with a mikhraz, which is an old type of pointy weapon [...]. [On the other hand] “The author [no mention of which author] divides the Makathirah into four groups, and the first among these is al-Qutn and [...]; and the first sub-group of al-Qutn is al-Saqr, and from al-Saqr come al-Kharareez. “

Sadly, no luck in zeroing in on an individual Bedouin named Muharib from these Kharareez clans here as we did with *Jedah’s owner. He seems to have died young and/or without progeny. That said, we now know the origin of the name al-Kharraz, which means “the stabber with a mikhraz”.

New discovery regarding the hujjah of the Davenport mare *Jedah

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on September 29th, 2014 in General

Early this afternoon during lunch break I was looking at some lists of Fad’aan Bedouin clans on a ‘Anazah tribal website, and while searching for something else, I stumbled on this remarkable piece of information in relation to the hujjah (original document) of the Davenport mare *Jedah imported by Homer Davenport to the USA in 1906.

The hujjah of *Jedah, as I translated it to English for Al Khamsa Arabians III in 2005, is as follows (with minor edits in 2014):

“In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate, [blessings and religious statements follow]

After [the blessings], I declare that the entirely chestnut [ie, no white marks] mare which I sold to Ahmad al-Hafedh from the people of Aleppo that she is Hamdania to be mated, [she is] protected, [she is] purer than milk / and she came to me from the tribe of al-Jad’ah and the tribe of al-Jad’ah it came to them from the tribe of Shammar from the breed of Ibn Ghurab and I bear witness upon the owners of this breed [ie, Ibn Ghurab] that their testimony is acceptable and I bear witness to their testimony / And we only bear witness to what we know and we do not keep [information] about the unknown.  [He who] admits to this,  Sharay’ah Aba Hasan [his seal]

I swear by God [that] the witness Sharay’ah Aba Husayn from the tribe of Al-Agagirah from the tribal section of Hakim Beg ibn Mhayd is just and [that] his testimony is acceptable. Ahmad al-Hafez [seal]“

In a nutshell, *Jedah was owned by a Sharay’ah Aba Husayn of the Agagirah (the correct spelling is ‘Aqaqirah and the pronounciation in Bedouin Arabic is ‘Agagirah) sub-tribe of the Fad’aan, and he got her from the Jad’ah tribe (otherwise well known breeders of the Hamdani Simri strain) also of Fad’aan, and the Jad’ah in turn got the line from Ibn Ghurab, the wellspring for the Hamdani Simri strain in the Northern Arabian desert. The same Sharay’ah Aba Hussayn is the signatory of the hujjah, which adds credence to the document.

Now here is what I found on this ‘Anazah tribal website (my translation, my comments in brackets):

“The second component of the Dhana Furaydh [a major sub-section of the Fad'aan] are the ‘Aqaqirah [...] and their Sheykh is Ibn Huraymis [who by the way was the last Bedouin owner of the Kuhaylat al-Mimrah mare Freiha imported for Ahmad Pasha Kamal in Egypt, tail female to Mabrouk Manial, etc.] and their war cry is “the horse rider of al-‘Ashwa is a ‘Uqayri” ['Uqayri is the singular Aqaqirah is plural], and they are the sons of Furaydh and they were nicknamed ‘Aqaqirah [which means "those who severe/cut limbs"] because their ancestors Khamis and Muqrin cut the limbs of some horses and there is a story about that;

And within al-‘Aqaqirah there are [two subgroups] al-Khamis and al-Muqrin [...] and within al-Khamis there are four sub-groups: (i) al-Mayyis; (ii) al-Hdabi; (iii) al-Sulayman and they are [the same as] al-Dhawi; and (iv) al-Hazim [...]

[So] the third group of al-Khamis is al-Dhawi and they are the sons of Sulayman, and their elder is Ibn Sharay’ah Aba Husayn

And within al-Sulayman there are three subgroups: (i) al-Dhawi; (ii) al-Dahi; (iii) al-Mud-hi [...]

And the third sub-group of al-Sulayman is al-Mud-hi, and within al-Mudhi, there is [the subgroup of] al-Hudayri, and from al-Hudayri comes Aba Husayn and al-Rashed and al-Salbukh, and from Aba Husayn comes al-Sharay’ah and al-Gargab”

And that’s the same person as in the hujjah.

What amazes most in this list of cascading clans, sub-clans, sub-clans of sub-clans of the Aqaqirah section of the Fad’aan all the way down to the individual Bedouin is how dynamic it is. In 1906, Sharay’ah Aba Husayn was one single man, owner of *Jedah, and one hundred years later, as the list of clans was uploaded on the Internet, he appears as the ancestor of a clan who bears his name: the Shara’yah, now a family among others of the larger Aba Husayn clan.

So we are now in a position to confirm that Sharay’ah Aba Husayn (that’s the correct spelling and it’s reflected in the hujjah text above) is the leader/elder of the clan of al-Sulayman (also known as al-Dhawi, after one of its sub-clans), and is himself from al-Hudayri family of the al-Mud-hi sub-clan of al-Sulayman clan, which is itself part of the al-Khamis larger clan which is one of two sub-sections of the ‘Aqaqirah section of the Fad’aan tribe. Along the way, we also learned how the Aqaqirah/Ajajirah section got its name.

Another observation is that Ahmad al-Hafez is mentioned (under the spelling al-Hafedh) as the buyer of the mare in the hujjah and I had not realized that before. I had rendered it as Ahmad al-Madi by mistake (now corrected, the original Arabic was not easy to decipher). The text above is the most accurate translation of the hujjah of *Jedah thus far.


Thank Heaven, 2003 daughter of Bahraini Mlolshaan Stallion

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on September 28th, 2014 in Bahrain

Thank Heaven is now in the ownership of Jeannie Lieb, who took this photo of the beautiful Mlolshaan Solomon daughter as was settling in her new home. She has her sire’s withers, shoulder, and clean legs. Compare with his own photo, in extreme old age, below.

Thank Heaven, daughter of Mlolshaan Hager Solomon

Mlolshaan Hager Solomon, tack removed

The Saidan strain in Bahrain

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on September 27th, 2014 in Bahrain

The stud of Sheykh Muhammad B. Salman Aal Khalifah in Bahrain includes representatives of an Arabian horse strain by the name of “Saidan”, of which one representative is the stallion pictured below, Saidan Gharib (photo from the 1998 WAHO Convention in Bahrain).

While the strain sounds very similar to the strain of Saadan (as in Saadan Tuqan, the strain of, among others, the mare Francolin imported by the Blunts) they are not the same, and are not written in the same way in Arabic.

It seems that the Bahraini “Saidan” strain gots its name from the ruling family of Oman, the Aal Said. Here is a quote from the Bahraini studbook volume 1:

 “The Kuheilah Sai’da strain is a family of horse peculiar to Bahrain. The oft told story of how the name came about is still repeated in gatherings when men discuss horses of old and their merits. In the early 19th century the Al-Khalifas had to repel many invaders to ascertain their supremacy in Bahrain. In the year 1816, in one of the attempts to overtake the islands by the forces of the Sultan of Muscat, Said bin Sultan, a big battle was fought on the shores of Bahrain. When the Muscati fleet was sighted approaching on the Eastern coast, horsemen were gathered and positioned awaiting their landing. Although the Muscat forces were greatly superior in numbers and fought fiercely, the shallow water on the shore was to the advantage of the Al-Khalifa horsemen, who were victorious. The remaining of the routed enemy took to their ships and left the shores of Bahrain. When the victorious horsemen returned to their home camp, a Kuheilah mare gave birth to a filly foal. To commemorate the glorious battle and defeat of Said bin Sultan, the filly was named Sa’ida. The Sa’ida at Shaikh Mohammed’s stud are descendants of this mare.”

This is how real Arabian stallions are

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on September 19th, 2014 in Bahrain

Jenny Lees sent me these four beautiful photos of the two new Bahraini stallions standing at her stud, with her grand-daughter. She meant them as an example of the wonderful disposition and temperament of Arabian stallions in general and Bahraini horses in particular.

She wrote:
I was invited to take the two Bahraini stallions presented to HM the Queen to the AHS National Show at Malvern this summer. After they had done the display we all settled down in a corner of the showground for a picnic. This is my five year old granddaughter Elsie with the stallions Tuwaisaan That’atha’ta the grey and Mlolshaan Mahrous. Both stallions are in their early teens and both have covered mares. Elsie has a special relationship with the grey Tuwaisaan.

To learn more about the pedigrees of both stallions, visit this link.




Origin of the strain name Mlolshaan

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on September 14th, 2014 in Bahrain

Mlolshaan (Bahrain Studbook spelling) is an Arabian horse strain now only found in Bahrain, but which was also present in Najd in the past, as evidenced by its mention in the Abbas Pasha Manuscript page 251, under Kuhaylan al-Mulawlish.

I was always curious about the origin of the word Mulawlish, which is uncommon in Arabic today. It is obviously a Bedouin Arabic word, which means it can be traced to Classical Arabic, the language of the Qur’an and of pre-Islamic Bedouin Arabia.

The Bahrain Royal Stud website offers this interpretation of the meaning of the strain: “The name Mlolesh is believed to derivate from the word “Mlolash” the trilling high-pitched sound the Arab women make at weddings and other happy or exciting occasions. The original Mlolesh mare must have had a beautiful neigh!”.

So a Mlolesh is a trill, so to speak, and its usage, originally associated with women, was extended to mares. It is a common pattern with horse strain names, as is the case with the Kuhaylah.

Still, I thought I’d look up the word in another way, through a dictionary. The first step to find the origin of an any Arabic word is to take it back to its original trilateral root, a process that follows the generic rules of Arabic grammar. All (or almost all) Arabic word go back to trilateral roots.

The form of the word Mulawlish is common and is the same as Muhajir/Murafiq/Murasil/Musafir and can be traced back to the verb Lawlasha, which is itself an emphasized version of the verb Laasha. The trilateral Arabic root is hence L-W-SH (Lawsh).

The problem is that the root L-W-SH does not appear in the usual Arabic root dictionaries (e.g., Lesan Al-Arab, the most comprehensive of all, compiled in the XIIIth century from older dictionaries). That’s because the last letter “SH” or “CH” is how Bedouins (or some of them) pronounce the letter “K” (e.g., “Chabir” for “Kabir”, big, in Iraqi and Syrian Bedouin dialects, or “Hatchem” for “Hakem”, the name of the Fada’an Bedouin leader who was Homer Davenport’s counterpart). It took me a while to make that connection.

This means that the real trilateral Arabic root is L-W-K and not L-W-SH, and that the word Mulawlish should instead be rendered Mulawlik, back to verb Lawlaka back to the verb Laaka.
Lesan Al-Arab here tells us that one of the meanings of the root L-W-K (lawk) is the act of turning something (e.g., the tongue, as in chewing) inside one’s mouth (al-lawk idarat al-shay’ fi al-famm). The dictionary even illustrates this meaning by using the example of a horse chewing a bit by turning its tongue around it (wa qad laaka al-faras al-lijaam).

Now the explanation offered by the Bahraini Royal Stud website begins to make sense: the original meaning of turning something (the tongue) inside one’s month could have been extended to mean “the sound made by turning one’s tongue inside one’s mouth (i.e., a trill). From women making that sound in rejoicing at wedding, the meaning slipped and became associated with horses that make a trilling, high pitched sound when neighing.

That said, I believe that the more mundane, more literal meaning suggested by Lesan Al-Arab could provide the answer to the origin of the name: Mulawlish could simply refer to a mare/horse in the habit of chewing its bit tirelessly, or one prone to chewing its food on and on and on..

HH Tantalus Krush, 2009 Kuhaylan Krush in Illinois

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on September 14th, 2014 in General

The magnificent HH Tantalus Krush, a 2009 Arabian stallion of the Kuhaylan Krush strain, Davenport lines, out of Quantum LD x Kashmir Krush LD. Thanks to owner Kim Davis for sharing this beautiful video of a superior stallion, true heir to his sire.