On the history of the Jordanian Bisharat family

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on December 3rd, 2009 in Arabia, Egypt

Click here for an informative article on the Jordanian Bisharat family, by one of its scions, George Bisharat, a professor of law at Hastings College in San Francisco. The article appeared in a political journal, and is not concerned with Arabian horses but it nonetheless offers interesting background information about the Bisharat family, which may be of interest to those of you who breed Arabian horses of Egyptian lines.

The Bisharat family is a Christian family of merchants and entrepreneurs, orignally from the area around the palestinian city of Nablus. Like several other palestinian christian familties, the Bisharat moved to the eastern bank of the Jordan river at some point in the late 19th century, and settled the area of al-Salt and then moved to the south of Amman. They rose to economic and social prominence in the first part of the 20th century.

At some point in the 1940s, a member of the Bisharat family, Shibli Bisharat (who may or may not be the Shibli  mentioned several times in the article), sent three horses as a present to King Faruk of Egypt. Two of these, the mare Badria and the stallion Besheir (also known as Besheir El Ashkar) left modern descendents, and famous ones at that, since the ubiquitous mare Hanan (Alaa el Din x Mona by Badr, who is the son of Badria and Besheir) is a close descendent of both horses.

The article confirms several facts otherwise known to Arabian horse breeders interested in the two Bisharat horses: 1) the Bisharat family had close ties with the British military in Palestine, Transjordan and Egypt in the pre-WW2 period; 2) they were acquaintances of Egyptian king Faruk (see the funny story that mentions Faruk’s appetite for gambling); 3) they owned Arabian horses (the article mentions how they presented General Allenby with one). There are also other, lesser known facts about them, including their close relations with the al-Sha’laan ruling clan of the Ruwalah.

3 Responses to “On the history of the Jordanian Bisharat family

  1. Thank you! A good link to add to the library!

  2. While I was studying in Amman , 1998 – 2002 , I used to go riding in Bshatar ,s equestrian club ” Nadi Aljawad Al-Arabi ” , I met some of them ” Maisam , Hani and Ibrahem ” , very nice people , highly educated , deep love for Arabian horses and great reputation , next time I am in Amman , I am going to visit them “

  3. Great! Omar, next time you go there, ask to meet the older members of the family.

    Another member of the family, Wasef Bisharat used to race part-bred Arabs with a lot of English TB blood, in Beirut in the 1980s and 1990s. i don’t know if he still owns race horses. Some of his horses came from Jordan.

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