Interview of Princess Badiaa of Hijaz

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on August 26th, 2014 in General

A fascinating and nostalgic interview in Arabic of Princess Badiaa, daughter of King Ali of Hejaz (1924-1925), sister of regent of Iraq Abd al-Ilah, sister of Queen Aalia the wife of King Ghazi of Iraq, with beautiful memories of then-enchanting Bagdad.

Please, never forget that Bagdad was at that time (together with old Aleppo now gone, old Jeddah now gone, and old Sanaa still standing but for how long?) one of the most beautiful cities of the Middle East. It was not the sprawling jungle of concrete and backwardness that it is today.


The ultimate goal

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on August 25th, 2014 in General

Of course, the ultimate objective of tallying and identifying the horses of Ali Pasha Sherif breeding not owned by the Blunts would be to be able to put a reasonably solid pedigree on horses like Saklawi I, Sabha El Zarka, Roga El Beda, Farida El Debbanie, Muniet El Nefous (the old one), Nader El Kebir, Bint Yemama, and perhaps above all, El Dahma. I don’t despair of being able to do this some day.

Other Ali Pasha Sherif stallions not owned by Lady Anne Blunt

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on August 21st, 2014 in Egypt

There are not many of these. Lady Anne reviews four of them in a letter to Wilfrid Blunt, dated December 13, 1914:

“Up to last year Yusuf Bey was the only one of the sons owning a stallion from that Stud [APS's] — a beautiful white horse about 15 years old. But its name was ‘Kaukab’ not ‘Valentino’… Ibrahim Bey had a horse but that was done away with two or three years ago when the glanders scare occured. Of outsiders Moharrem Pasha and Ahmed Fathi, formerly wakil of the Daira, each had a stallion. I know Moharrem P. still has his. A. Fathi’s was not remarkable and would hardly fetch 500 pounds but that can be found out without much difficulty. Mutalk is pretty sure there is nothing else…” 

– The first one with Yusef Bey is clearly Kaukab (Ibn Sherara x Bint Nuar El Shakra) and is identified by name here. Lady Anne saw in 1914 and described him. See earlier entry.

– The second one, the one that was with Ibrahim Bey Sherif but died a few years before, appears to have been the horse mentioned in a February 24, 1902, entry of Lady Anne’s Journals:

He [Prince Sanguszko] told me he had seen a grey horse belonging to Ibrahim Bey Sherif that was from Ali Pasha Sherif Stud. It is 8 years old [so born in 1894], color of Wujra — still quite grey. Mutlak says the sire was Ibn Nadir.

– The third one from Moharram Pasha, was also seen by Lady Anne who refers to him in her Journal entry twice. The first time on November 9th, and the second time on November 20th, 1909:

“The Serinji came in the afternoon and says Moharrem Pasha would like to sell the daughter of Yatima and perhaps Kasida’s half brother, so unless he asks impossible prices I will look at these … for that might be the longed for grey stallion, and as to the Yatima [orphan in Arabic] it was stupid not have bought her as a foal.”

“To the house of Mahmud Moharrem Rustem purchaser of the Yatima and the colt by Nasrat out of Makbula [hence full brother of Kasida not half brother as thought earlier by Lady Anne]. First saw the horse, a handsome wreck, eyes sunk in and looks older than his age (16 to 17 years) [so born in 1892-93], is very like Kasida is grey, great bone, strange to say not yet white at that age. Then the mare who is own sister to Feysul and Jellabieh…”

In her Sheykh Obeyd Studbook, Lady Anne talks about his stallion Nasr/Nasrat, as having “died of the eye.. he fell dead one day when being ridden out, this happened on the bridge… His only descendants were Manokta, Kasida and a colt from Makbula” (Pearson and Mol, 1988). Moharrem Pasha’s stallion appears to have been that colt.

– The fourth one of Ahmed Fathi [Yeken] seems to be the horse mentioned in January 22, 1902 entry of Lady Anne’s Journals, who does not appear to have been impressed with him:

At 2 rode Wujra to stable. There found one of the former stable helpers of Ali Pasha Sherif who had come from Ahmed Fathi and his son Mohammed Fathi about the grey horse (now 7 years old) [so born in 1895] by Mahruss out of Johara which they want to sell.” 



Johara and Kaukab from Ali Pasha Sharif

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on August 21st, 2014 in Egypt, General

As I continue perusing Lady Anne’s Journals and Correspondence and what was published of her Sheykh Obeyd Studbook looking for information on those horses of Ali Pasha Sharif breeding she did not own, I came across this conclusion, which others might have already reached before.

Excerpts from the Sheykh Obeyd Studbook published in Pearson and Mol (1988) list an entry for the mare Bint Helwa Es Shakra (Johara), which was purchased from Ibrahim Bey Sherif, son of Ali Pasha Sherif, on April 19, 1897, and sent to England the same year, after having been covered by “Ibn Bint Nura Es Shakra (white about 7 years) by Ibn Sherara in Cairo and barren“.

I was wondering who that stallion could be. He obviously was not one of Lady Anne’s horses. He stood in Cairo, not in its outskirts where the studs of Prince Ahmed (in Matarieh) and of the Khedive Abbas Hilmi (in Qubbeh) lied. Downtown Cairo was the location of one or more of the palaces of Ali Pasha Sherif — who had died earlier in the same year. Could this stallion have been of the few horses that remained with Ali Pasha Sherif’s sons, for riding purposes, when the stud was dispersed?

One of the horses that are known to have remained with the family was the stallion Kaukab, with Yusuf Bey Sherif.  On dec. 13, 1907, in a letter to Wilfrid Blunt, Lady Anne writes: “Up to last year Yusuf Bey was the only one of the sons owning a stallion from that Stud — a beautiful white horse about 15 years old. But its name was ‘Kaukab’.  On February 19th, 1914, she has the opportunity to see Kaukab again: “Visit of Ibrahim Bey Sherif. Interesting. He is now again a neighbor… Also he says he has ‘taken’ Kaukab (sire of Sahab) from his brother (Yusef) and will bring that beautiful old horse to show me tomorrow…“. The next day, “Ibrahim Bey Sherif… appeared on Kaukab… That horse is indeed beautiful… what style, the quarter splendid… Kaukab is son of B. Nura, and there is in him much to recall her — a perfect head… Kaukab is Dahman Nejib.

As is noted in the Al Khamsa Online Roster entry for Kaukab, the personal recollection implies that Kaukab is a son of Lady Anne’s Bint Nura (Bint Nura El Shakra), not one of the several other “Bint Nura” of Ali Pasha Sherif from a generation earlier, which Lady Anne saw in 1880, 1882, etc. The Al Khamsa Online Roster adds that “the 1932 certified pedigree for *Bint Serra I from the stud of Prince Kamal al-Din describes Kaukab as a grey stallion by Ibn Sherara out of “Bint Nura.” Colin Pearson shows the same information about Kaukab’s sire being Ibn Sherara in the Foundation Tables of his “Arabian Horse Families of Egypt” (1988, xxiv), probably using the Sheykh Obeyd Studbook as a reference, but he mistakes the dam for one of other Bint Nuras.

I think there is a great likelihood that the “Ibn Bint Nura Es Shakra (white about 7 years) by Ibn Sherara in Cairo ” that covered Johara in 1897 and Kaukab are actually one and the same horse. There are several arguments in favor of this:

1. The ownership of both Johara and Kaukab by the Sherif family, at the time Johara was bred to this Ibn Bint Nura Es Shakra (white about 7 years) by Ibn Sherara in Cairo”.  

2. The date of birth: Kaukab was “around 15 years” in 1907, so born around 1892, and the Ibn Bint Nura Es Shakra by Ibn Sherara was “about 7″ in 1897, so born around 1891.

3. The sire and dam: Both by Ibn Sherara out of Bint Nura Es Shakra.

4. The color: Both white.


Welcome, Ginger

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on August 13th, 2014 in General

I recently acquired DA Ginger Moon (DB Destiny Moniet x Kumence RSI), a 1998 Saqlawiyah Jadraniyah, from Sheila Harmon of Destiny Arabians in Idaho. Tail female to the Blunts’ Basilisk through Rabanna, and lots of Blunt/Ali Pasha Sharif blood throughout the pedigree. Photos below, taken by Sheila in 2009.




I have long been a fan of these highly authenticated Blunt and Ali Pasha Sharif lines of the Crabbet and Sheykh Obeyd (SO) Studs, which, one hundred and twenty to one hundred and fifty years after the importation from the Arabian desert into Europe then the USA, continue to produce high quality horses from time to time, close to the original Arabian type of the homeland (now gone, both the homeland and its horses). These lines do very well in endurance (cf. Bint Gulida and Linda Tellington Jones, see photo), and are being increasingly recognized and celebrated in this field.

Her pedigree is made of three lines to Rabanna (Rasik x Banna by *Nasr, 75% Crabbet/SO), three lines to Ghadaf (Ribal x Gulnare, 100% Crabbet/SO), three to the Doyle foundation mare Gulida (Gulastra x Valida, 100% Crabbet/SO), three to *Rashad (Nazeer x Yashmak II who was out of the Crabbet mare Bint Rissala, almost 50% Crabbet/SO), and three to *Bint Moniet El Nefous (Nazeer x Moniet El Nefous, low percentage Crabbet/SO), as well as one line to Fa-Serr (*Fadl x *Bint Serra, 50% Crabbet/SO) and one line to Nusi (Gulastra x Nusara, 100% Crabbet/SO).

As much as I already liked these lines on paper, I got to like them even more after getting to know my Jadiba (Dib x Jabinta) who is 87.5% Crabbet/SO, with three Doyle stallions on top of the pedigree. There seems to an inextinguishable flame of true and original Arabian characteristics running in these lines, which their endurance record is revealing.

DA Ginger Moon (aka ‘Ginger’) comes with her newborn of two weeks ago, a black colt by the Babson stallion Serr Serabaar. That colt is for sale. Sheila tells me that his full sister (photo below at Cougar Rock) is doing well in endurance riding, completing her Tevis Cup 100 mile ride last year with 52nd finish out of 75 horses present at the finish line (and 160 at the starting line).

Ebony 2013 Tevis Cougar Rock


Okba son wins Tevis Cup 100 miles endurance ride

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on August 12th, 2014 in Tunisia, USA

Kina Murray just wrote to me that a gelding son of the asil Tunisian Arabian stallion Okba, out of a Polish/French/Russian mare, won the 100 mile Tevis Cup endurance ride.  Kina tells me that “the winner, ridden by experienced endurance competitor Heather Reynolds, is called  French Open (Okba x Selma Croixnoire, by Ala Croixnoire) – he raced for 7 years, earned over $78,000  and was stakes-placed 3 times.”

This is great news and bodes well for Tunisian and Algerian asil lines in the USA in the future.


Egypt Grand Hotels of the past

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 15th, 2014 in Egypt

A wonderful blog about Egypt’s Grand Hotels and golden era. On the Shepheard, quoting from this blog:

“Long before London’s Savoy or the Paris Ritz, Shepheard’s of Cairo was the epitome of glamour. It was a hotel from which explorers set off for Africa, where kings entertained mistresses, where movie stars rubbed shoulders with of?cers on leave from the desert and spies hovered in the hope of minds being softened by the congenial atmosphere. [...] Everybody stayed at Shepheard’s from Mark Twain and Arabian adventurer Richard Burton to Noel Coward and Josephine Baker. Its parties and balls were legendary, its barmen the souls of discretion. When the hotel was burned to the ground in rioting in 1952, it marked the end of an era.”


Cairo’s Shepheard Hotel

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 15th, 2014 in Egypt

old sheapheard hotel cairo

From Wikipedia: “Shepheard’s Hotel was the leading hotel in Cairo and one of the most celebrated hotels in the world from the middle of the 19th century until it was burned down in 1952. A modern hotel called the Shepheard Hotel was built nearby in 1957″ and “in the First World War, the hotel served as British Headquarters in the Near East.”

It is frequently mentioned in Lady Anne’s Journals and Correspondence.

Thabit Pasha the Wakil of APS

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 14th, 2014 in Egypt

Another character who makes occasional appearances in Lady Anne Blunt’s Journals is Thabit Pasha, who acted as Wakil (Trustee) for Ali Pasha Sherif’s estate in the later years of his life, and who was a central character in the process of Lady Anne’s acquisition of the remnant of the Stud of Ali Pasha Sharif in December 1896 and January 1897.

The genealogical tree of the royal house of Mohammed Ali the Great has his as: “Muhammad Sabit Pasha (b. 1820; d. 1901), Private Secretary to Muhammad ‘Ali the Great 1847-1848, Minister for Justice 1878, of Charitable Endowments, Education and the Interior 1884, Khedevial Envoy at Istanbul 1881-1882, President of the Privy Council. 1884-1901, a younger son of the Circassian Chief of the Nahoush.”

According to the same tree, Sabit/Thabit Pasha married a daughter of Zohra, who was one of Mohammed Ali the Great’s sisters. He appears to have been one of the country’s highest officials, and the head of the Khedive’s advisers when he acted as Wakil for Ali Pasha Sharif. The site goes on to list Aziz Bey Sabit as one of his sons, this buying the same Aziz Bey Thabit whom Lady Anne mentions as a visitor to Sheykh Obeyd Stud in her Journals.

By the way, the Nahoush were one of the main tribes/grouping of the Circassians/Cherkess/Adyghe people in their native Circassia (a region now par of Russia, where Sotchi lies among other places).

The Yekens

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 14th, 2014 in Egypt

Both Ahmad and Fathi Bey Yeken (Yakan, Yeghen) make fleeting appearances in Lady Anne’s Journals and Correspondence (where their name is sometimes mis-transcribed as Bekin) whether as visitors of the Sheykh Obeyd Stud or occasional buyers of surplus stock. Either Ahmed or Fathi Bey is mentioned as the buyer of the colt of Fasiha (Ibn Sherara x Bint Fereyha) by Antar (Aziz x Sobha) in 1908, and Fathi Bey was the buyer f the colt of Ghazieh (Ibn Nura x Bint Horra) by Feysul in 1907.

The genealogical tree of the royal family of Egypt mentions the Yeken as an allied family descending from a certain Mustafa Bey, who married Zubayda Khanum, sister of Mohammed Ali the Great, founder of the Egyptian royal family. Mustafa Bey’s sister, Amina Khanum, was also Muhammad Ali’s principal wife. So the sister of the first married the second, and the sister of the second married the first. Both Mohammed Ali and his brother-in-law Mustafa Bey were born in Kavala (in today’s Macedonia, then under the Ottoman Empire, like Egypt). Most of the senior military commanders around Mohammed Ali the Great were from Kavala, including Mohammed Sherif Pasha, the father of Ali Pasha Sherif.

One of Mustafa Bey’s sons (and hence Mohammed Ali’s nephew from both sides), Ahmed Shukri Yeken Pasha (b. Kavala, 1799 – d. 1856) was commander in chief of the Egyptian forces in the Hijaz from 1820 to 1829, and then from 1833 to 1841, and Minister of War in between (1829-33), and was a Vizir in Istanbul some time after that (query, had he defected?). He had a son, Khalil Yeken Bey, who in turn had two sons Ahmed Shukri Yeken Bey and Mohammed Fathi Yeken Bey  (b. 1868).

These are our two fellows, cousins of Egypt’s royals and members of the first circle of Egypt’s aristocracy. Their uncle, Daud Fathy Yeghen Pasha. (b. 1837 – d. 1917) married Princess Tawhida (b. at Istanbul, 1860; d. at Cairo, 1882), youngest daughter of Prince Ibrahim Ilhami Pasha, the son of Abbas Pasha. Years after Lady Anne’s death, Fathi’s son, Faik Yeken Bey (b. 1901) went on to become the Court Chamberlain and Master of Ceremonies to King Faruk.


This little Palestinian baby victim of Israeli bombings on Gaza just looks like my younger daughter

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 13th, 2014 in General

gaza soleni


Reference to Al Mashoor’s sire owner in Lady Anne Blunt’s Journals

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 13th, 2014 in Syria

These Journals are a gold mine. There is not a single horse related entry which does not yield new information about the horses of yesterday and today. Look at this set of entries:

July 17, 1911: 

“In the evening Teddy arrived with the (reported wonderful) bay stallion which Mr. Learmouth took to Australia and brought back not being allowed to land it — he bought the horse at Damascus and H.F. [Wilfrid] went to see it at Tatterstalls where today it was sold for 100 gs. Teddy bidding for H.F. It seems that H.F., if the details of pedigree show it to be genuine, intends to breed from it — the advertisement particulars were not convincing: I saw them in the Morning Post.”

July 18, 1911:  

“The horse is a fine horse but does not carry conviction to me. We shall see what is said of pedigree later. Damascus is not a good starting place nowadays. 

August 3, 1911: 

“H.F. sends the bay horse’s certificate asking what I can make of it. The horse does not convince me to look at and as far as I can see there is no date or year on the document not clue to identity of the ‘Sheykhs’ whose seals are on it.”

September 20, 1911, Sheykh Obeyd

“Now came the opportunity of telling Fauzan about the Learmouth horse and getting him to make inquiries should he not have heard of it. I handed the document to Fauzan who read it carefully, studied it and the seals and then said that it was not an Arab or Bedouin statement, the style as well as writing and paper show this, that there is not a single Bedouin names in the list of seals, these names must be those of townsmen from Damascus, and as to Shammar Tuka they are not of the true Shammar (of Mesopotamia) such as Jerba and others he mentioned, that they are breeders of sheep; they have a few horses among which there may or may not be some good. He remarked that there is no mention [in the hujjah] of any person belonging to the tribe [ie, of Shammar Tuka], as breeder or seller of the horse, it is merely stated that this horse came from that tribe [ie, from Shammar Tuka] and the strain (H.S.) [ie, Hamdani Simri] is to be found in that tribe and nowhere else. (!) They have got it from the region of Nejd (nothting said about when, nor from where in Nejd). “I think this is a made up thing” was Fauzan’s final verdict. However he has promised to write to a friend there — in Damascus — asking him to find out all he can as Learmouth and the purchase made by that gentleman. By the way, the words in the pedigree about “purer than milk on the dark night when covering mares mazbutate etc” is not at all a  Bedouin phrase. I had thought as much.”

October 6, 1911 

 “Fauzan brought to Mutlak who brought it to me the answer from his Damascus friend Said Abu Dahab about the horse (Mrs. Learrmouth’s purchase then nearly two years ago). It was bred in the village of Jerud (near Damascus) and bought from [the] Juardly [ie, a man of Jerud] who bred it by Musa el Seyyid, they telling him it was Hamdani — no mention of Simri. That was what had been ascertained. A quite different story to that of the “pure as milk on a dark night” pedigree.”  

From this set of entries, who take up the better part of 2011 in Lady Anne’s Journals, it appears that Wilfrid Blunt bought a horse in London, with the intention of breeding from him, from a certain Mr. Learmouth who had acquired it, along with a certificate, from the city of Damascus. It is also clear that Lady Anne was not convinced by the certificate from the start, and took the trouble of taking it with her to Egypt where she showed it to a North Arabian acquaintance of her stud manager Mutlaq, who in turn asked someone from Damascus about the horse. It turned out the horse was bred in Jerud near Damascus, said to be a Hamdani, and sold to a Musa el Seyyid.  The certificate embellished these facts, adding that the horse was Hamdani Simri, originating from the Shammar Tuka, who got the strain from Nejd, but not providing evidence of any of that, by way of Bedouin witnesses testifiying in the certificate.

What happened to this horse is not clear. It does not look like Wilfrid Blunt ever bred from him, perhaps because Lady Anne had managed to convince him of the weakness of his certificate.

That said, the words in bold font (near Damascus, Hamdani, Musa el Seyyid) found some echo with me. Some thirteen years ago, I had translated the certificate of the 1928 stallion *Al-Mashoor (link to the translation here), imported to the US, where he left Al Khamsa eligible progeny (of which Jenny Krieg’s mare Sarita is the only descendant left today). This is an excerpt of *Al-Mashoor’s certificate, referencing his sire:

“And the sire of that horse is the Hamdani Semri of the well-known Musa al-Sayyid Abu Hamdi from the [Damascus] neighborhood of al-Midan Bab Musalla”.

So what does this mean? Not much, except that this Musa al-Sayyid who owned *Al-Mashoor’s sire in the late 1920s appears to have been active in horsebreeding since at least the early 1910s, and that fancied horses from the Hamdani strain, to the point of having owned at least two (Al-Mashoor’s sire and Mr. Learmouth’s horse) who may or may not be related.

More on the Syrian town of Jerud (or Jayrud) here.

My favorite colt of the year is a Krush

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 6th, 2014 in General

The Kuhaylat al-Krush Nuri Al Krush (Janub Al Krush x Mystalla by SL Jacob) has just foaled a most wonderful colt by Quantum LD (Mandarin x Leafs Ivey by Wotan) for Kim Davis. The dam is a concentrate of rare lines from old American breeding with lines to Mainad (Hanad x Charmain by Abu-Selim), Royal Amber (Ribal x Babe Azab), Oriental (Letan x Adouba) and Kapiti in the tail female (Harara x Tamarinsk). I can’t get enough of looking at the pictures of this colt Kim sent to a few of us, and I think he is the strongest, most handsome, best built and most promising young fellow I have seen this year. He is certainly stallion material for any CMK or any old American breeding program, and even think he can improve the breed overall. In any case, he is testimony to what you can get by preserving some of these really old and rare lines. Click on the photos to enlarge them. Congratulations Kim! By the way, his dam Nuri had foaled another most special horse at Trish Stockhecke in Canada some years ago. His sire was a quasi Al Khamsa stallion with lots of lines to Hallany Mistanny. This colt was a flying Arab like his young brother! Nuricolt4

Nuricolt3 Nuricolt2

Nuricolt9 Nuricolt12

Nuricolt5 Nuricolt6

Nuricolt8 Nuricolt1

Jauhar El Khala, Kuhaylah Hayfiyah of Davenport lines at 27 years young

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 6th, 2014 in General

The 27 year old Kuhaylah Hayfiyah Jauhar El Khala (Sporting Life x HB Tiffany by Thane) seems to get more and more and more beautiful with age. Photo by owner Christine Emmert. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Jauhar El Khala 7514

Jauhar El Khala 2 7514



By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 6th, 2014 in General

Are those of you who are trying to post comments on DOW able to do so? I still have some problems with the blog.

The Venus Hadban line in Lady Anne Blunt’s writings — a new discovery

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 in General

I am in Yemen for the week. I am done with work for today, and the only book I brought with me is Lady Anne Blunt’s invaluable Journals and Correspondence (Archer and Fleming, 1986). Lately I have been combing the Journal entries for references to non-Blunt, non-Ali Pasha Sherif early foundation stock of Egyptian Arabian breeding, in the hope of finding new direct or contextual information about these horses. I believe I have just made an interesting discovery which I am eager to share with you here.

During the later years of her life in Egypt, Lady Anne paid many visits to the studs of members of the Egyptian royal family like those of Prince Ahmad Pasha Kamal, Prince Mohammed Ali Tewfiq and other notables, and described their horses in her Journals with remarkable consistency and accuracy. Most of the horses she describes during these visits have bred on to become foundation horses of modern Egyptian Arabian horse breeding, including Bint Yemama, Om Dalal, Dalal, Tarfa, Doga, Radban, Saklawi II, Dahman El Azrak, Farida Debbanie, Roga El Beda, Sabha El Zarka, Jamil El Ahmar, Koheilan El Mossen, El Sennari, etc, etc. Lady Anne’s description of them and the information she provides on the particulars of their pedigrees add considerable value to what is already known about them from other sources.

One important line of modern Egyptian breeding I could never find a reference to in Lady Anne’s Journals is that of the mare Venus, a Hadbah from the stud of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II and the tail female for Ibn Rabdan, Nazeer, Aswan, and so many of the better known modern Egyptian Arabians. Venus is one mare I have been trying to learn more about for some time, given the scarcity of reliable information about her in primary sources, and the existence of some unreliable information about her in secondary sources (just so you know: I include Carl Raswan’s misguided attempt to link Venus to a hypothetical Yunus clan of the Shammar Bedouins by playing on the similarity of the names among the unreliable secondary information). Now I believe to have found a reference to a descendant of Venus in Lady Anne’s Journals.

The Journals entry on January 25, 1911, made in the context of a visit to Prince Mohammed Ali Tewfiq’s Manial Stud mentions a “Hadbe (no suffix) very fine mare the Prince had from Izzet el Abid, which I saw ridden” among the Prince’s horses. “No suffix” means no sub-strain in this context. Of course, this reference to a “Hadbe” (other spellings Hadbah, Hadba, feminine of Hadban) does not constitute sufficient evidence on its own to link this mare to the line of Venus, which is not known to have been represented outside the Khedive Abbas Hilmi’s Stud.

However, the Al Khamsa Oline Roster entry of Venus’ grand-daughter Gamila mentions that “an early herd book of Prince Mohamed Aly describes Gamila as a 1900 chestnut by “Sinari” out of “Hadba Bint Fenouse (‘Venus’),” from the Khedive.” This confirms that Venus’s grand-daughter Gamila (the maternal grand-dam of Ibn Radban) was part of the mare band at Manial, coming from the Khedive’s stud.  It is therefore highly likely that Gamila was the mare Lady Anne saw at Manial in 1911 and described as “very fine“.

The reference to “Izzet el Abid” then remains the only puzzle in this entry. Why would Lady Anne casually mention that the mare was “from Izzet el Abid” — without further elaboration — if she were from the Khedive? and who/what is that “Izzet el Abid” in the first place? Let me take you to the intuitive process of my resolving this little puzzle.

At first sight, “Izzet el Abid” looks like it is the name of the person the Prince obtained the mare from and that’s what I believed for a long time. It is precisely that belief that prevented me from making a connection between the “Hadbe a very fine mare” and mares from the line of Venus. Upon taking a closer look, it occurred to me that this single reference to “Izzet el Abid” in the entire Journals of Lady Anne may not be to the name of a person. If it were, Lady Anne, in her usual attention to facts and detail, would have clarified who that person was, whether in this entry or an earlier one.

I thought to myself, ‘could this be the name of a place, an estate of the Khedive Abbas Hilmi II for instance, or a stud other than his main stud of Koubbeh?’ So I hit Google (my only resource here in Yemen) which took me straight to the Wikipedia entry on the Khedive Abbas Hilmi II. Here’s what I found: “His farm of cattle and horses at Qubbah, near Cairo, was a model for scientific agriculture in Egypt, and he created a similar establishment at Muntazah, near Alexandria.” 

So I thought, ‘perhaps Izzet el Abid is just another name for this farm of Muntazah near Alexandria where Abbas Hilmi II also had horses’. I already knew about the royal estate and palace of Muntazah, one of the most visited monuments in Alexandria, and I believe I had driven by it some ten years ago. Muntazah (in Arabic, “the Park”) is known to most Egyptians as the last residence of King Farouk, the one he fled Egypt from on his yacht when the Free Officers did their military coup in 1952. Fewer people know that before King Farouk built his magnificent palace there, the place was founded by Abbas Hilmi II in 1892 as a hunting lodge and agricultural estate. I also knew, from my visits to the Tahawis that every other place in Lower Egypt is called “Izbet this” or “Izbet that”, with Izbet (with a b not a double z, also spelled ‘Ezbet’) meaning “settlement” or “hamlet”. My friend Yasser Ghanim has a house in Izbet Ghanim in the Nile delta area; my driver lives in Izbet el Nakhl, a popular suburb north of Cairo (which incidentally was the train station closest to Lady Anne’s Sheykh Obeyd Garden). Just look up “Nile Delta, Egypt” on Google Maps, zoom in a bit and you will see dozens of Izbets and Ezbet popping up.

At this stage, I was almost certain that the “Izzet el Abid” in Lady Anne’s Journal entry was an editor typo (the Journals are replete with them when it comes to Arabic words) or a misspelling of “Izbet el Abid”  (literally “the hamlet of the slave” or a person named el Abid). But I needed proof. So I specifically looked up Izbet/Ezbet el Abid/Abd in its different spelling combinations in Google and Google Maps, and …. voila!  A “Izbet el Abd” shows up directly adjoining the gardens and estate of Muntazah in the eastern suburbs of today’s sprawling Alexandria… Check it out here or simply type “el abd el montazah alexandria egypt” in Google Maps and it will show up.

From here it was easy to verify that the nearest existing location to where the Montazah (again, “the Park” in Arabic) estate of Abbas Hilmi was established in 1892 was this hamlet of “Izbet el Abd” and that the estate was known by the name of the nearby hamlet in its earlier years (just like the Inshass Stud of King Farouk takes the name of the adjoining peasant village of Inshass and the Kafr Ibrash Stud of Queen Nazli takes its name from the nearest village).

Putting all this together, the reference in Lady Anne’s Journals, made during her January 25, 1911 visit to Prince Mohammed Ali’s Manial Stud, to a “Hadbe (no suffix) very fine mare the Prince had from Izzet [sic] el Abid” becomes clear and the puzzle can be solved: on that day, Lady Anne saw a Hadba mare from the line of Venus, most likely Gamila, which she thought was very fine, and mentioned that Prince Mohammed Ali had obtained her from the farm estate of his brother the Khedive Abbas Hilmi II in Izbet el Abid, the place later known as Muntazah under king Farouk (photo below).

muntazah palace

CSA Baroness Lady to be bred to MSF Hamdani Simri for a 2015 foal

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on June 20th, 2014 in General

Hopefully, on Sunday the Ma’naqiyah mare I recently acquired, CSA Baroness Lady will be bred to MSF Hamdani Simri (Faydin x IMF Badia Nafila by PRI Gamil Halim) of Lesley Detweiler, a stallion of very similar pedigree. It is a preservation breeding.

Both have highly unusual (within Al Khamsa) Blunt/Crabbet tail females, the mare to Ferida (Ma’naqi Sbaili of the Shammar) and the stallion to Sobha (Hamdani Simri of APS). Both are sired by stallions bred at the Babson Farm. Both are heavily top-crossed with  new Egyptian blood (mainly Ansata with lots of Nazeer), and both have tiny amounts of Early American blood (Davenport, Hamidie, Huntington, and Nedjran) at the back of the tail female through Tizzy for the stallion and Milanne for the mare.

MSF Hamdani Simri struck me when I saw him at the 2011 AK Convention in PA in 2011. The large truly Arabian eye, the nostrils made of velvet, the long and arched neck, the curved mithbah, the nice shoulder, and the high tail setting impressed me. Back then I thought I wanted to see a stronger, broader croup and hindquarter (Doyle style) and a broader chest, but that’s okay and the mare has plenty of both. Also, what style he had, what carriage, what class.

Truly there is something special with these Sobha tail females, and Lady Anne Blunt was speaking of Sobha and her daughter Safra, which she had just purchased, when she wrote in her Journals:

“I don’t know what it is, or rather I don’t know how to put into words that indescribable air of distinction which marks the horses and mares of Ali Pasha Sherif’s”

MSF Hamdani Simri is only nine generations removed from Sobha in the tail female, six generations to *Simawa (Rustem x Sarama by Daoud) who was imported to the USA where she sired the stallion Katar by Gulastra and the mare Koreish, by Alcazar, both bred by Albert Harris. Also, MSF Hamdani Simri’s dam is a sister of Virginia Deyr (Tristram x LR Double Bubble), who is one of most beautiful mares I have seen on photo (in an old Khamsat).


Below are a couple photos of him, courtesy of Jenny Krieg, and taken by Monica Respet in 2011, with Tom Detweiler holding him:

image003 image005

DOW is back

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on June 20th, 2014 in General

I am breathing a heavy sigh of relief after hours with the hosting service’s technical support. I almost lost all the data on this blog, and this reminds me how precious the interactions with all of you has been over the past 6.5 years and how much knowledge was accumulated on this blog. Thank you.

Moonflower TA, Kuhaylah Hayfiyah with Moniet and Rabanna lines

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on June 5th, 2014 in General

Everyday I see dozens of photos of mares on my Facebook accounts and on the pages and groups I follow. This mare, Moonflower TA (Oracle RSI x White Iras Moon by Sir White Moon x CH Lyras Moniet by Tomoniet RSI x Lyras by Lysander x Iras, and hence a Kuhaylah Hayfiyah) struck me, pedigree and looks. I love the shoulder, the prominent and bony withers, the well let down gaskins and clear hocks, the strong and round croup, and the deep girth. She looks like she is a real athlete. I also like the look on the face, a combination of the Moniet look in Egyptians and the Iras one in Davenports. The pedigree is a nice mix of both. Just look at what breeding these different groups of asil Arabians together can produce. Pity it is not tried more often. She is owned by Carly Cranmore in Michigan (and she is for sale, by the way).


Dahman of Ahmed Pasha Kamal

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on June 4th, 2014 in General

There is not a single mention in Lady Anne Blunt’s Journals and Correspondence of a Dahman of Ahmed Pasha Kamal sired by Jamil out of Farida of Ahmed Bey Sennari.

There are only two such Dahmans of Ahmed Pasha mentioned again and again in these Journals, both sons of Farida of Ahmed Bey Sennari (a Dahmah Shahwan of Abbas Pasha lines): the first is mentioned as the sire of Rabdan, Tarfa, etc, and the old white Seglawi of Ali Pasha Sherif (then to Ahmed Pasha then to Khedive Abbas Hilmi) is mentioned as his sire; the second appears a couple of time and his sire is said to be the Koheilan El Mossen of Sennari.

The lengthy footnote in the Foundation Tables of the precious book by Pearson and Mol (“The Arabian Horse Families of Egypt”) about the Dahman sire of Rabdan and the other horses being in all probability the son of the old Seglawi of Ali Pasha Sharif then takes all its meaning. I am reproducing parts of this footnote here:

Dahman (Jamil El Ahmar x Farida El Debbani); ca. 1893. Grey: “This is the breeding attributed throughout EAO Vol. I to the Dahman given as the sire of Rabdan and others. Lady Anne Blunt agrees with the identity of his dam but on four separate occasions (three in her Journal and one in her Stud Book), states without equivocation that his sire as Saklawi I, the ‘old white Seg. Jed. Ahmed Pasha had from APS.’ Since two of these references, for March 10th, and Dec. 2nd, 1907, occur immediately after she had seen the horse in the compnay of Prince Ahmed’s stud manager, they are inherently persuasive [...]. Bint Noma is the only progeny of the K. el Mesenneh son mentioned by Lady Anne. The Dahman that was the sire of other horses to whom she refers was the son of Saklawi I. 

I think it is time to change the pedigrees and the sire lines.



On the birthdates of Prince Mohammed Ali Tewfiq and other Egyptian royalty

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on June 2nd, 2014 in General

He was born in 1875, so he was only 5 when the Blunt met Ali Pasha Sherif for the first time, 24 when he owned what was probably his first Arabian (Saklawi II) in 1899 (according to his herd book), and 32 when he decided to dedicate himself solely to the breeding of Arabian horses (according to Lady Anne’s Journals).

His brother Abbas Hilmi II was born in 1874 a year later.

Prince Yusuf Kamal was born in 1882, and was only 25 when he dispersed the stud of Prince Ahmed Kamal his father.

This puts things in perspective.

Wahhabit, Asil tail male Siglavy Bagdady

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on June 2nd, 2014 in Hungary

This asil 1977 stallion, Wahhabit, is by Siglavy Bagdady VI, a Babolna stallion, out of Delicate Air (Laertes x June), a Davenport mare. I had not seen this picture before.


What Ali Pasha Sharif horses looked like

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on June 2nd, 2014 in Egypt

This is a picture of Ghazieh gleaned from the internet. Born in 1897 at APS. Bought by the Blunts in 1897 at the APS sale, died in 1917 at Sheykh Obeyd Stud. By Ibn Nura out of Bint Horra by Aziz out of Horra by Zobeyni.

Dam of Feyda by Jamil (Aziz x B. Jamila), who is in turn dam of Ibn Fayda (at Inshass Stud in Egypt) and Ibn Fayda I (at Sidi Thabet in Tunisia) both by Ibn Rabdan. Also dam of Ghareb who was used by Lady Anne as a sire at Sheykh Obeyd stud, and her daughter Feyda and Ghazwa  and grand-daughters faiza adn Falha were admired by visitors to Sheykh Obeyd Stud from the world over.

Funny, I don’t see a dished face or a flat topline. Maybe Lady Anne Blunt and Ali Pasha Sharif did not know enough about breeding Arabian horses to breed for these. Maybe show judges know better.

Personally, I would die for a mare like this one.

Ghazieh (Ibn Nura x Bint Horra by Aziz)

New Mare

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on May 31st, 2014 in General

CSA Baroness Lady, a 1999 Ma’naqiyah Sbayliyah, joined the Al-Dahdah herd yesterday from her breeder Carol Stone.  Oh, how I love this strain, and could write pages and pages of non-stop praise for it. This is the tail female of Milanne, Ferseyn, Farana, Amber Satin, and other American greats, back to *Ferida of Lady Anne Blunt. She will be bred this year to a stallion to be determined.

csa baroness lady


MtDNA Arabian lines

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on May 29th, 2014 in General

This is just for reference