Georges P.Tabet ”Chebou” and ”Non Chebou”

By Joe Achcar

Posted on June 15th, 2008 in General

Georges Philippe Tabet, was the Finance minister of Lebanon under the French Mandate (1920-1943).He owned ‘’Al Mushrefeh’’ a big estate near Homs in Syria where he use to breed Arab horses for more than 20 years. Moreover he was member of the ‘’Arab Horse Society ‘’ his name appearing in Vol I of the AHS stud book 1919.

His status of big wealthy land owner and Arab Horse breeder certainly made the Bedouins of the Homs and Hama region ,mainly ‘’Sbaa’’, to sell him mares and stallions, moreover he must have had  good relations with the “Kassasse’’ of both Homs and Hama ,famed horse breeding regions in Syria.

In 1937 he edited a small book in French and Arabic called’’ Les noms de Familles des chevaux Arabes’’ (Arab horses family names).This book taken from Bedouin sources, makes the difference between the ‘’Pure Asil” “The Asil’’ and the ‘’Kadish’’ more over Georges Tabet listed the ‘’The Chebou’’ horses’’ and the ‘’Non-Chebou’’ horses.

I quote the introduction of his book:

…….’’The pure Asils or Chebou’’ have all  they ancestors known as  only ‘’Chebou ‘’horses, the Bedouin only mate their mares only from ‘’Chebou’’ horses .

‘’The Asils’’ are pure breds but all their ancestors are not known.

This classification between ‘’Chebou’’ or ‘’Non-Chebou’’ does mean at all that the ‘’non-chebou’’are not pure Arabs or that the ‘’Chebou’’ are superiors in beauty, speed or endurance.   

 All the ancestors being known by oral tradition, the ‘’Chebou’’ ancestors are known as ‘’Chebou’’ by the tribe owning the main branch (la branche mere) and most of the times these facts are known by all the tribes.

The Aneze tribes are considered as having the bigger knowledge in the horses lineage, nevertheless in the tribes and in breeding centers as Homs,Hama,Alep, Deir ez Zor there is specialists in the origins and lineage the are called ‘’the Kassasse’’( the one who told).

The disappearing of some of them meaning that their knowledge was gone with them,this fact  made that some lineage and branches were considered as ‘’Non-Chebou’’ this is in my opinion the real cause of this hierarchic classification……

To resume we may say that these three classes make a hierarchy:

The Chebou are the Nobles. The non-Chebou is the Middle –Class. The Kadish ,  the ‘’next to nothing’’ (in French the Vils).

……..I’m certain that there is ‘’non-chebou’’ strains non –listed, but I tried my best to list the ‘’Chebou’’ families.

Georges P.Tabet      

Please let me know if you want information’s on any Strain

8 Responses to “Georges P.Tabet ”Chebou” and ”Non Chebou””

  1. Dear Sir,

    About family name, when I was few months ago in Syria, I get informations from Mr Walid Kazenah re. Hamdaniet Ibn Ghorab
    and he told me that one of the
    ancestor of Mr Ali Ajeel Ibn Ghorab was sherif but I cannot know when and if there were special war rezhoo reasons !!
    Best rgds

  2. Ibn Ghurab is from the Hdibah clan of the Sinjarah section of Shammar. In recent years, the al-Jarbah, the leading clan of the Sinjarah section of the Shammar tribe have been emphasizing their descent from the Prophet Muhmmad and the Sharif of Mecca. This wasn’t the case fifty years ago.

  3. About the Ibn Ghurab’s.One night while dining at Hemeidi al Daham al Jarba the ”Sheiks of Sheiks” of the Syrian Shammars he told us that he had received a horse from the Qatari ministry of interior.I asked about the horse pedigree ,it was a non -asil horse.I told him that it will be a shame to cover his ”hadba Enzahi” mares by this stallion ,and I explain to him why.He picked the phone and called the ministry personal secratary and asked me to explain to him why the horse was not Asil.After that the man sitting near to me who was the Sheikh of the Ibn Gurab clan told me ”dont worry this horse will only cover our Shimaliya mares not the Asil rely on me for that” .
    Few month later I received a phone call from Hemeidi invinting me to dinner at his Damascus home(Beirut and Damascus are only 100km far).At the dinner he told me that the Ibn Gurab sheikh told the story of the Qatari horse to Hemeidi’s mother then aged almost 90’s the old women take a gun went to the stables and shot the poor horse!!
    saying that ”our mares wont be covered by an unknown stallion”
    I told this story to my friend Rick Synowski few years ago.
    the ”Hadba Enzahi” mares of the Daham al Jarba are famous in all the Syrian -Iraqi mesopotamia.
    I suspect that it is from them that came Nazeer’s ancestor.When I was Hemeidi host at Tell Alou near the Iraqi border I saw the most beautiful mare in Syria belonging to him,a bay Hadba Enzahi.
    Joe Feriss must remember the way that Hemeidi and the Shammar hosted them 12 years ago at Hemeidi’s house ,when they presented their horse’s by strain and coulours(sometimes 5 or 6 from the same strain and same coulours) all togheter mounted by Shammar riders.It was fantastic and I remenber Joe dancing the sabre dance with Hemeidi
    Hemeidi is not long in Syria :During the US invasion he claimed for a kind of a Shammar state in Northern Irak and Syria ,got problems with the Syrians and escaped to Kurdistan where he is the host of Talabani.
    As for Irak I met members of Al Nujaifi family Sheiks of the Bani Khaled clan in Mossul and most of all the biggest breeders of Arab horses in Iraq they own 50 mares not all of them Asil as Iraqis,under Saddam, used imported UK stallions and mares! the Nujaifis also imported French and Russian stallions as they are very much involved in racing.One of the Nujaifi brothers, Muhamed al Nujaifi, one of the big bosses in the Islamic Bank in KSA, just published a very interesting book about the Iraqi tribes and their horses . next time we will talk about it, Inshallah

  4. The only ones who can use the ”Sharif” titles are the Hashemites from the Hedjaz (now kings of Jordan) .As for the Al Jarba of the Shammar they are also known as “”AL Muhamad”in reference to their link to the prophet.

  5. One intersting information about Georges Tabet book that the ”Kuhailan Rodan” from the Rualla are listed non-chebou or not to be mated.
    The Blunts ‘Rodania’ is from them

  6. Edouard has given a very helpful explanation of the concept of chebou/shubuw in his article “What is Asil?” on this site. I would provide a link to it if I knew how! Look for the heading “Beyond the three standards of purity: Shubuw.”

  7. Joe, wow, what a story! The Sheykh’s mother shot the horse?? what a woman!

  8. Hmeidi ,when i use to meet him was a fierce man of 75 with a lot of sons who where acting as his bodyguards.This is one of the stories he told me.
    Daham, his father,was the supreme sheikh of the Shammar in Irak,he got in trouble with the British who expelled him to Syria with his followers and name at his place his cousin Al Yawer as supreme sheikh,and the Daham people was called by the French ”Les Shammar des frontieres”
    One day Daham bought a Saklawia mare in the desert near Palmyra,on his way home, near the iraqi border, he met a famed ”connoisseur” in good and bad omen in horses,he tried to avoid him but the man saw the mare and asked Daham to examine the mare ”no bad omen but let me see the hoofs”after having looked at the hoofes he said ”dont let this mare near your Hadba’s mares,they will gave birth to twins”.Daham followed the advice and gave the mare to his kinsman.One day when Daham was travelling the kinsman came to daham’s house met his ”wakil”and told him that he was very angry and gave back the rifle given to him by Daham and told him that he had released the Saklawia mare between the Daham mares.The wakil did not know about the prediction of the ”connoisseur’and let the mare together with the Hadba’s.
    When Daham got back to his house and saw the Saklawia he took her out of the corral but the evil was done and one of the Hadbas gave birth to twins.Believe it or not.

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