By Edouard Aldahdah
Posted on January 12th, 2009 in General
Yesterday, January 11th 2009 marked the first birthday of “Daughter of the Wind”. I want to pause for a minute and take a look at one year of blogging about desert Arabian horses.
As a trained economist I can’t resist sharing the latest figures from my dashboard. Since March 26th, 2008 (which is when I started keeping track of stats) there have been 10,694 unique visitors and 163,884 clicks or visits to the website; it has featured 6 bloggers (me included), who posted a total of 240 posts, with 87 readers posting 925 comments. 100 links were added and 281 tags created. Also, 70% of the reader used English on their web browsers (which doesn’t mean they all come from English speaking countries); 10% used French; 5% used German; 2% used Hungarian; 2% used Arabic and the rest were divided in 19 other languages.
Beyond the numbers, Daughter of the Wind has drawn together readers from countries as diverse as Croatia, Hungary, Iran, Israel, Mauritania, Namibia and South Africa, in addition to the US, Canada, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, etc. It has featured the wonderful asil Arabians of South Africa as well as the precious Babolna lines of Hungary, and shed some light on the forgotten asil Arabians of France, Algeria and Tunisia, as well as the lost asil Arabians of Lebanon. It contributed to raising the profile of Syrian desert Arabians (the rising star in Arabian breeding), as well as featuring a number of precious and yet threatened American asil lines..
Blogging about arabian horses also brought its own share of controversies (and controversy is good): the French partbreds, the Amer Saudi scandal and the sad odyssey of the Iraqi lines that carry the blood of Tabib did not leave readers (and bloggers) indifferent. The question of purity (what does pure mean? who is pure? who isnt’? how do we know?) and inter alia, that of “asil” underpins many of these controversies. Many questions, few answers.
I often struggled on how to address a controversial topic. Is it better to shy away from it, keep saying “nice things” about the horses one likes, and avoid saying “mean things” about the horses one dislikes? Or is it better to confront controversy heads on, at the risk of engaging in the risky game of naming and shaming? I haven’t quite found the right answer to this thorny issue, and in the meantime the blog has been fishing in both ponds..
On the way forward, and in addition to the topics that were the focus of Daughter of the Wind in 2008 (strains, Bedouins, “asil”, US and European lines, etc), the next year will bring in a number of other topics: it will delve further in the Bedouin concepts of “rasan”, “marbat”, “shubuw”, “mazbut”, “kadish”, etc. It will feature 10 more strains, and more stories from countries of interest like Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Yemen, etc. It will try to dig deeper into the old European bloodlines of France, Germany and Hungary.. and will feature more discussions on specific categories of actors like western government buying commissions, horse dealers, and racehorse owners. It will also feature more detailed discussions of the social and economics context in which Arabian horse breeding took (and sill takes) place in the Middle East. Finally, the blog will feature more reference to Arabian horses in the Arabic literature ranging from scientific treaties to poetry and fiction.
Just keep reading and my fellow guest bloggers and I will keep posting, so we can all blow that second candle together. I can’t believe it’s been one year already.