Photo of the Day: Malek, Saqlawi Jadran from Lebanon

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on January 7th, 2010 in Lebanon, Syria

My father took these two photos of the grey Lebanese stallion Malek in the mid 1980s, at the farm of Husayn Nasir in Rayak, Lebanon.

Malek (Achchal x Bint Ghazwane by Ghazwane) was the last stallion of Lebanese breeding that did not trace to the infamous Iraqi-born part-bred Arabian racehorses thath flooded the Beirut racetrack in the 1950s and 1960s, and ultimately led to the demise of the Lebanese Arabian horse breeding, after they were crossed with Lebanese (and some Syrian) asil Arabian mares.

Malek was used mostly on non-asil part-bred arab mares tracing to these Iraqi stallions, and bred only one asil mare: a bay 28 year old Tuwaysah mare from Syria, which we owned and which traced to the horses of the ‘Anazah tribe. That old mare settled, and her daughter was my favorite mare while I was growing up. I recall hearing that Malek ended his life pulling a cart in the northern Lebanon city of Tripoli.

His strain was Saqlawi Jadran from the horses of the Dandashi landlords of Tall Kalakh, in Western Syria. This wealthy and powerful clan of chieftains of Kurdish origins, who had the title of agha were the premier asil Arabian settled (i.e., non-Bedouin) horse breeders of Syria. Together they literally owned dozens of asil marabet from the choicest bloodlines, which they brought for large amounts of money from the neighboring Bedouin tribes, mostly from the Sba’ah and some from the Fad’aan.

The most famous marabet of the Dandahshis were those of ‘Abdallah Agha al-‘Umar al-Dandashi, who owned an extremely precious and highly regarded marbat of Jilfan Sattam al-Bulad; Dabbah Agha al-Dandashi who owned a marbat of Kuhaylan al-Nawwaq, ‘Abd al-Karim al-‘Uthman al-Dandashi who owned a rare marbat of ‘Ubayyan Sharrak, and Nayif Agha al-Dandashi who owned a marbat of Saqlawi Jadran of Ibn Zubayni. I am almost certain that  the stallion Malek pictured here traces to the latter marbat, but I am not 100% sure, because there were other marabet of Saqlawi Jadran with the Dandashis, including that of the stallion who sired the mare *Muha (imported to the USA in the 1920s by Amin Rihani). I will need to check that and get back to you.

The Dandashi also owned, among other strains, a marbat of the ancient strain of Hazqan Misrabi., which was featured in odes by a number of poets. The strain of Hazqan is now long gone.

15 Responses to “Photo of the Day: Malek, Saqlawi Jadran from Lebanon”

  1. Edouard, what a beautiful, deserty stallion. He radiates presence, doesn’t he? Very, very lovely and a real shame to hear about his fate.

  2. What a beautiful boy, stunning. I have just come across this site it’s amazing, thank you. Ive had an interest in Arabic horses for many years and having recently gotten married to a Lebanese guy I was so excited when going to Lebanon to see some true Arab horses from Leb but I didn’t see any! If anyone could give me any info on Lebanese breeding lines I would be so grateful…I just don’t seem to be able to find that much info on the net. Hopefully going back to Leb this summer so if anyone knows of anywhere where I can get more information in Lebanon, again I would be very grateful. Can’t wait to hear more. Many thanks, best, Yolanda

  3. Hi Yolanda,

    You will need to contact the Dandashi family in Tall Kalakh or Homs, Syria for more info on Arabian thoroughbreds. the Late Dabbah Agha Al Dandashi was my uncle, and the Late Nayif Agha Al Dandashi was a cousine of my Late father Izzat. All the elderly Dandashis who took serious care of Arabian thoroughbreds have died. I have been living away from the Middle East for a long time now and I need to try and find any plausible contact for you on horses. I hope to come back to you soon with a positive reply.

    Best Wishes, Daigham Dandashi (living presently in England.

  4. Dear Daigham,

    thank you for your message. The Dandashi horses are of extreme interest to a lot of people who read this website, including myself, as my own father owned many of them, including horses from Dabbah Agha and Nayif Agha. Do you have photos of these horses you can share for publication on this site? This would be much appreciated.

  5. Dear Edouard,

    It is commendable that you seek to keep the interest in the Dandashi horses more than the Dandashis themselves. I feel ashamed. I am afraid I do not have any photos myself. I know that Abd Al Karim Al Uthman (who incidentally was also a cousin of my late mother)had horses running in the Beirut Hippodrome way back in the 60’s. I will try and contact his grandchildren ( to be honest I do not know where they are living now) and see if they have kept any photos or are interested to join your blog.

    By the way, I remember having Mrs. Dahdah as a teacher when I was studying and my sisters at the American Evangelical School in Tripoli, Lebanon in the late 50’s.

    All the best.


  6. Daigham, I assume you have already seen this youtube video, and I am sure you will recognize some of your uncles and cousins on it

  7. Dear Daigham,

    Many thanks for you postitive post. What a fantastic heritage you have. I look forward to finding out more about them.
    Many thanks
    (also in England)

  8. Hi Edouard, Hi Yolanda,

    Well, It is a pity that I have not been able to date to locate any possible sources for photos. I have been to Lebanon last year for sad reasons and forgot about the whole thing. Hopefully one day I will.

    Hope all is fine with you all.

    Daigham (Dag)

  9. Dear Daigham,
    Hope you are well, and hope we see you very soon. As you mentioned Abd Al Karim al Uthman Aldandashi was my grand father owner of the most saklawi horse breeding farm and malik was part of that farm and it is not true that the destination of malik ended as
    mentioned, malik is the sun of Albarak, and Albarak is the son of Muluki whoe defeted uaashierat horse owned by Hinri Firaoun, who was actually a partner of abdul Karim Al Uthman. send me your email to send you the pictures.
    Mukarram Dandashi

  10. ACHCHAL is the sun of albarak,please.

  11. No he is not.

    Achhal is the son of Machaal; check out the first Lebanese studbook of 1974, the second one of 1994, and the Syrian studbook where the information was supplied by your elders. Or just ask your elders.

    Al Barraq is the son of Molouki (brother of Malek from the mothers) who is the son of Hisham, and Al Barraq and Achhal are from the same generation.

  12. Dear Mukarram, check your information please. My father General Salim Dahdah was the last owner of Malek, so I am certain of my information.

  13. Dear Salim Dahdah,

    1- Malik is the son of machaal and was owned by Abdul Karim Al Othman who was my grand father, how your grand father became the last owner i realy do not know ,but i know that we were breading from mulouki and later from albarak.
    2- you are correct as alachhal is the son of Mashaal.
    3- As you said Albarak is the son of mulouki and if malik is a brother ,then the owner of malik is same stud of abdul karim Al- Othman Al- Dandashi.
    4- I witnessed a race with my grand father while malik came first, we were the owners of malik.

    5- My father Assem has brought 50 horses from iraq in the fifties and established our horse ranch in syria and after he died in lebanon at al boqaia’a north of lebanon.
    Please send me your e mail to send you some pictures.

  14. Are we talking about two different Malik? The Malik I know is the son of Achhal (not Machaal) and of Umm Molouki (Malik and Moulouki being brothers from the mother, Malik by Achhal and Moulouki by Hisham), bred by the Dandashis in Tall Kalakh. Umm Moulouki was Bint Ghazwan. Saqlawi Jadran family

    Al Barraq was a Maanaqi, also from the Dandashi, son of Moulouki. Al Barraq and Al Barq were brothers, the first by Moulouki and the second by al-Mirmiran.

    Malik, at the end of his racing career, in his late twenties, was bought by my father, who placed him in Rayak, and he bred three of his mares to him: Um Shamel (a Saada Tuqan) and she got Shamel; Umm Malban (a Dnayssah) and she got Malban, and bint Radwan (a Tuwayssah) and she got Al Tuwayssah. Then my father gave him to someone, who gave him to someone who used him for Tombor. That’s the information he got.

    I feel honored to know a grandson of Abd al-Karim al-Uthman. My email is; I will also send you some pictures of Malik at the racetrack.

  15. Dear Edouard, Dear Cousin Mukarram, Dear Yolanda

    Wow.i came across the website again after 4 years to find an interesting debate going on.

    Edouard, I am glad that cousin Mukarram got in touch with you. He is the member of the Dandashi family I was referring to in my failed attempt to trace the history the relevant Dandashi Arabian breed. So my mission finally succeeded .

    Mukarram, it is great to hear from you after 40 years of family dispersion through the world. I now spend time between UK, Lebanon and Spain. Hope family is fine. My email address:

    Thanks Edouard and hope you and Mukarram can sort out the equine history.

    Yolanda, all yours to feed your interest in horses.

    Best wishes to all.

    Dag ( Daigham Dandashi)

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>