By Edouard Aldahdah
What you have below is a very precious and informative document:
It is clipped from an Arabic horse magazine article, a scanned copy of which was sent to me by Pure Man. It sheds light on Arab royalty’s regular practice of sending each others horses as gifts. The letter, from King abd al-Aziz Aal Saud of Saudi Arabia, to Shaykh Hamad ibn Issa Aal Khalifa, ruler of Bahrain, mentions the former’s awareness with the latter’s loss of the treasured Dahman strain. It also mentions that the father of the King of Bahrain had once offered a Dahmah mare to the father of the Saudi King. Finally, it offers to send the daughter of that mare, by a Hamdani stallion, to the rule of Bahrain as a replacement. You can read a short account of that story here.
The letter starts with the usual blessing, “In the name of God Most Merciful and Compassionate”. To the left, there is the number of the correspondence item, and the date of the correspondence. Only the year is legible: 1356 Hijri, which is our 1936. To the right, in elaborate calligraphy, there is the mention: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Diwan [Office] of his Majesty the King.” Then follows a one line title, of which I could only decipher the following: “Response to the letter of Shaykh Hamad ibn Issa Aal Khalifah”. The first two and a half lines in the main body of the text relate to a matter of exchange of a number of cars between the two rulers. Then comes the part that is of interest to us:
“We have heard that the Duhm (1) are not to be found with you; and it (2) had come to us (3) from the father of all (4) the late Shaykh Issa (5) to [my] late father al- Imam Abd al-Rahman; so this is her daughter coming your way, and her sire is al-Hamdani. We hope that you will accept her, just as we hope for [your] continued health and happiness, as she reaches you, and may God keep you in his blessings.”
Follows the Saudi king’s signature. End of translation. My annotations below:
(1) “Duhm” is the plural of al-Dahmah, the strain
(2) “it” refers to a particular mare from that Dahman strain
(3) “us” refers to the Royal “us”, i.e., King Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Saud
(4) an expression of respect to elders, especially dead ones
(5) Issa b. Ali Aal Khalifa, ruler of Bahrain from 1869 to 1925. Died in 1932. See Bahrain Royal family tree here.
According to the Bahrain Royal Stud website, the mare from King Ibn Saud was called Dahmet al-Malek, the “Dahmah of the King”. She produced a daughter, Bint Dahmet al-Malek, then was sent as a gift to the ruler of Kuwait. Bint Dahmet al-Malek is noted as the dam of the bay stallion Dahman al-Thaalith (the Third), stationed at the royal stud of Rufaa until 1989. There is no word about any female descendents, at least not in the Royal Bahraini Stud, but then again, not all the ruling family’s horses were registered in the Bahraini studbook, for a variety of reasons.