El Nasser: what we already know

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on May 15th, 2008 in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria

The starting point of any serious discussion on El Nasser should be a short statement in Judith Forbis’ “Authentic Arabian Bloodstock”, p. 137, where she cites a letter from Henri Pharaon, the one-time owner of El Nasser.  

“Pharaon wrote to me on October 6th, 1970 that El Nasser was born on May 1938, that he had purchased the horse from Cheikh Ahmad Taha, that it was bred by the Gheiheich (Ajarash, El Ajarrache) of Upper Syria, the Jezirah region, and that his sire was Douhayman El Ajarrache of the Tibour tribe.”

I saw the letter Pharaon wrote to Forbis, in French.  I also saw a copy of the horse’s Lebanese racing papers, which match the information in Pharaon’s letter. Save a few small transcription errors (Tibour is Jibour, for example), and one incorrect analogy (Gheiheich and El Ajarrache are two different entities), all the names in the letter are those of well known and identifiable tribes, clans, and individuals.

In September 1997, I asked a 90 year old horse merchant, ‘Abdl al-Qadir Hammami what he knew about all these names. Click here for his answer, which one of several inputs that helped clear El Nasser as an Asil Arabian horse.

Hammami did not recall Douhayman El Ajarrache, the sire of El Nasser, but identified the strain of the horse as being Dahman (female Dahmah), commonly known as Duhayman (female Duhaym, a diminutive). He also identified the name El Ajarrache (al-‘Ajarrash) as that of a family of Bedouin warriors from the Bedouin tribe of Shammar.

So Douhaymane El Ajarrache was a Dahman stallion, bred by the al-Ajarrash family of Shammar, and owned by al-Jibour (al-Jubur) tribe around the time of the birth of his son El Nasser.  

But there is more… and that’s where the real story is: it looks like Douhaymane El Ajarrache might have descendants alive in today’s desert..   

Henri Pharaon, Lebanese President Camille Chamoun, the Shah of Iran

In the above photo, taken at the Beirut racetrack in the mid-fifties, Henri Pharaon is in the middle, with former Lebanese President Camille Chamoun on the right and the Shah of Iran on the left.  [Correction: The photo’s legend was incorrect. The fellow on the left is King Paul of Greece. Thanks Joe Achcar]

2 Responses to “El Nasser: what we already know”

  1. The man on the left is Paul the former King of Grece which daughter is the actual queen of Spain

  2. Thanks for the correction.

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