By Edouard Aldahdah
As with many Arabian horse strains, Kuhaylan al-Mimrah takes its name from its owner. The Kuhaylat al-Maryum mare that came from the tribe of al-Dhafeer to tribe of the Sba’ah became known as Kuhaylat al-Mimrah, or Kuhaylah Mimrahiyah, after the Sba’ah Bedouin who owned her. The strain bred on at al-Mimrah’s, and was passed to his sons and grandsons. Of these, Subaylah al-Mimrah was the most well known for breeding it.
Al-Mimrah (the people) is one of the many closely-related families that compose the larger Muwayni’ clan (click here for a genealogical table of this clan). The Muwayni’ is the leading clan of the Bayayi’ah section of the ‘Abdah tribe — itself one of the two branches of the Sba’ah tribe. The clan even assumed the leadership of the entire ‘Abdah, until a date in the 1880s when an armed incident with an Ottoman tax-collecting detachment resulted in its downfall and replacement by another rival clan. Still, the Muwayni’ enjoy special respect within the Sba’ah tribe and the general ‘Anazah, partly because of their past status, and partly because of their famous copper seal, one of ‘Anazah’s oldest.
Around the time the Abbas Pasha Manuscript was compiled, the Shaykh of the Muwayni’ and head of the Sba’ah ‘Abdah was Nahar Ibn Muwayni’, whose close cousin was Za’aazi’ al-Mimrah. Za’aazi’ al-Mimrah was a fierce warrior who owned a Kuhaylah Mimrahiyah famed for her speed. Nahar, then his son Muhammad Ibn Muwayni’ also owned several Kuhaylah Mimrahiyah mares, many of which were sold to the Pashas of Egypt. The bay desert-bred mare Donia, who is the great-granddam of the Egyptian Royal Agricultural Society stallion Mansour, was one one of these. So close was the association of the Muwayni’ clan with one of the most ancient and prestigious strains that the entire clan was known among the Saba’ah tribe as Humul al-Khayl, the “People of the Horses”.
Today the head of the Muwayni’ clan is Farhan son of Mandil son of Fadil son of Muhammad son of Nahar ibn Muwayni’. He spends his time between Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, where most of his clan has migrated in the 1970s and 1980s, and the Syrian agricultural settlement of Faydat Ibn Muwayni’, in the steppe 50 miles east of Dayr al-Zur, which his father Mandil founded and where the rest of the clan has taken root. They no longer own Kuhaylan al-Mimrah. Pity.
Those of you who can read Arabic can check an extremely interesting interview of Farhan Ibn Muwayni’ on the website of the ‘Anazah tribe, with pictures of Farhan. Yes, tribes have their own websites and chatrooms in this day and age. I wonder when the Shammar will start blogging…