Hujjah: Gazala, a desert-bred mare from Hail, Saudi Arabia, 1971

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on January 17th, 2010 in Arabia, Saudi

In 1971, H.R.H. Prince Salman b. Abd al-Aziz Aal Saoud, brother of the present king of Saudi Arabia, and then and now governor of the Province of Riyadh (which more or less corresponds to the historical region of Najd), presented the bay Hamdaniyah mare Gazala to a Dr. Klaus Simons of Germany. The latter imported his prized mare to Germany, where the Asil Club accepted her and her offspring, three mares by Farouss (Kaisoon x Faziza by Fa-Turf) and two stallions by Hamasa Arslan (Farag x Shar Zarqa by Negem)

Jeanne Craver forwarded me her typewritten hujjah, which is signed by the hand of Prince Salman, and exists in both the original Arabic, and an awkward English translation. Here is the English version as it appears in the original document, word for word (capitals mine):

[Printed Letterhead for Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud]

To Whom It May Concern

We certify hereunder that Gazala is Thoroughred Arabic (Assila), she is of Hamadaniah Kuhaylan family, she is brown colour, white line of the face, white spot on the upper lip, white line between the nostrils, white colour on the lower extremities of the limps. Her father Saker and her mother is Sultana. Her pedegree is attached to this certificate. She was born in the Arab desert of Najd in the tribe if Shammar in Hayel Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She has been in my stable one year.

For the above we herby certify

Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud

[handwritten signature of Prince Salman]

Governer of Riyadh

Of course, the typos and mistakes come from the translation, not the original Arabic version. A second document, very similar in form and content, provides the additional information that the mare was presented to Mr. Klaus Simons, and clarifies that the strain is Hamdaniyah with no mention of Kuhaylah this time. I don’t have the attached pedigree, but you can see a translation of it in the Asil Araber II, where there is also a nice picture of Ghazala. The pedigree, which is very elaborate with ancestors recorded up to the sixth generation, and dates of birth up to the third generation (both VERY unusual features for a desert pedigree) is also on allbreedpedigree.com, here.

What is really strange is that the Arabic version of the hujjah speaks of Hamdaniyah “Kahlawiyah”, a term I have never heard of before, and which the English version translates as “Kuhaylan”. Two possibilities: either the administrative cleric who drafted the hujjah for Prince Salman to sign knew nothing about Arabian horse strains (not at all unusual, even in Saudi in 1971) and meant to write Kuhaylah but wrote Kahlawiyah instead; or ‘Kahlawiyah is a branch of Hamdaniyat, but that’s highly unlikely. I have never heard of it, and the way the word is built suggests a garbled rendering of the term Kuhaylah.

10 Responses to “Hujjah: Gazala, a desert-bred mare from Hail, Saudi Arabia, 1971”

  1. Edouard, thanks for that article…I am doing some pedigree research for a friend in Luxembourg and was not aware of this specific mare.
    I found it amazing because she was crossed with some interesting lines including Turfa. Don’t you think it is great to cross back to the Saudi desert???
    I have found pictures of one of her son, he is really a beautiful horse.

    If someone has a picture to share of Gazala, you are more than welcome!

  2. Hi Clothilde, I think crossing back to these new desert-breds like the Syrian, the Saudi (including Gazala’s descendents) is the way to go.. Her progeny is very deserty and dry, and I like them too. There is a nice picture of her in the Asil Araber II, I think..

  3. We can read about the naming system of the arabian horses In the book of Erika Schiele, ” Arabiens Pferde- Allahs liebste Kinder” (BLV Verlag,1972). The very interesting chapter of the book ( i have the german edition only) called the ” Breeding system of the bedouins- Sirelines, Marefamilies, Inbreeding” .
    Erika Schiele says here, in the Nedjd the horses received the names after the sire, not after the dam.
    Here citiert the legendary arabian horse-expertin the case of Gazala as a precedent.
    Gazala , the From Prof.Simmons to Germany imported bay mare was born among the Shammar bedouins in the district of Hail. Gazala’s five-generations pedigree
    is an example for this fact. Gazala and her all ancestors in the pedigree -table received the family-name after the sire.
    László

  4. Hallo zusammen, Ich habe heute durch Zufalldieses Forum gefunden. Ich besitze den letzten Sohn der Gazala von Hamasa Arslan geb. 13.07.1987 auf dem Gestüt von Frau Hedi Geiger Niederkrüchten. Er ist wie Gazala auch ein Geschenk, mein Hochzeits Geschenk von Ihr.Ich habe zu der Zeit bei Fr. Geiger die Pferde versorgt. Auch den Vollbruder von meinem Maamoon Gazur, den Ibn Gazala habe ich mit auf die Welt gebracht. Es waren auch noch 2 Töchter von Gazala da: Najdiah geb 1977 von Farous geb. 1971 u. der Vollschwester Sabbah Sultanah geb. 1978. Auch Maamoon Nedjme war zu der Zeit noch dort, sie war mein Liebling, mit der ich alles machen konnte. Auf Facebok habe ich eine Seite Maamoon Gazur, auf der auch einige Bilder sind. Gazur wird dieses Jahr zum ersten Mal Vater, ich hoffe mit Erfolg.
    PS Leider kann ich kein Englisch.

  5. Here is translation of Iris’ comment above:

    “Hi, I just found this forum by accident. I own the last son of Hamasa Arslan born 13.07.1987 on the farm of Mrs. Hedi Geiger Niederkrüchten. He’s like a gift, my wedding gift […]. Also the full brother of my Maamoon Gazur is Ibn Gazala which I’ve brought into the world. There are also 2 daughters of Gazala were there: Najdiah born 1977 sired by Farouss (1971 and the full sister Sabbah Sultanah born in 1978. Also Maamoon Nedjme at the time was still there, it was my favorite, on which I could do anything. I have a page on Facebok Maamoon Gazur, on some images. Gazur will this year for the first time father, I hope with success.
    PS Sorry I can not speak English.

  6. Thank you Iris. Maamun Gazur is a stallion I wish to see. A direct son of the desert. Can you send me the link to his Facebook page please?

  7. Edouard, some photos here (although my German is nonexistent):

    http://rabbits-hoehle.vpweb.de/Maamoon-Gazur.html

  8. meine Facebook Adresse lautet
    http:77www.facebook.com/iris.thoneick
    von der offenen Gruppe Maamoon Gazur u. Maamoon Tarik habe ich so keine Adresse gefunden. Entweder über meine Seite dort rein oder direckt die Gruppenseite eingeben.
    Gazur hat nun einen Sohn u. eine Tochter
    Viele Grüße aus Deutschland Iris Thoneick

  9. Take a look at the new Homepage of algadir-asilaraber.de Next Times you can see news from Maamoon Tarik, Grandson of Gazala Db and his progreny, from his daughter Acinaa with her foal from Maamoon Gazur. You can see all on Facebook in Maamoon Tariks side or by Maamoon Gazur.

  10. thank you Dominique

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