Kina Murray on Reem al-Oud in 2002

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on May 2nd, 2017 in Syria

I love this photo of the desert-bred Ubayyah Suhayliyah Reem al-Oud in Bedouin gear with Kina Murray riding. It was taken in the North East Syria in 2002. Here’s Kina’s description of this moment:

“Attached is me having a gentle walk on an elderly mare on the trip when we went to do the investigation on all the horses that were added to the studbook, in 2002. […] I can’t remember her strain, possibly Obeyah Seheilieh, I rode her when we visited the home of Sheikh Mezer Ojail Abdull Kareem of the Shammar in Al Hassaka, as far as I recall.  One of my best memories ever. In fact she had just taken part in an impromptu 5km race across the desert!   Here are a couple of quotes from the report I wrote about that trip: 
“At the home of Sheikh Mezer Ojail Abdull Kareem of the Shammar in Al Hassaka, a slightly longer  race  across  the  desert  with  about  5  mares taking  part  was  arranged  for  our entertainment, it seemed that this was a regular activity. One of the mares taking part was 22 years old. The ‘finishing line’ appeared to be exactly where our group was standing, and it took  a  strong  nerve  to  stand  still  as  the  horses approached at  full  speed  in  a  cloud  of  dust!  Scenes like these have been played out in the traditional Arabian horse breeding areas since time immemorial, and it was a privilege to witness such a scene in the 21st Century. […]

I saw Reem al-Oud three times in my life, and each time I had a “Zietarski moment”, or, as my father would put it, an “electroshock”: first at the Aleppo equestrian club in the mid-1990s, where Sh. Mayzar al-Ajil al-Abd al-Karim was boarding her, and where we tried to buy her; a second time at Radwan Shabareq who had leased her; and a third time east of Aleppo in the late 1990s. She had been featured several times on this blog over the past decade, including here, and I still think she is one of the best Arabian mares ever bred.

For those who have been asking about what traditional Bedouin halters and saddle looked like (as opposed to the pale copies made today), this is as good an illustration as any.

2 Responses to “Kina Murray on Reem al-Oud in 2002”

  1. Kina Murray’s description of the race between the 5 mares gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes (I’m sappy like that about the generous efforts these horse will give for we humans .)
    I also had to take a second look at the photo. It looks so much the Eastside of our California High Desert valley! Same dryness and area of rocky buttes, alfalfa and onion fields.

  2. It does the same for me, Carrie. What a mare.

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