Sweet Halima

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on October 28th, 2012 in Lebanon

This morning while looking at old pictures I stumbled on two photos of my first mare (or at least the first mare of my father’s stud that I considered mine): Halima, registered in Volume 1 of the Lebanese Studbook as Al Tuwayssa (Malik x A Tuwayssah mare by Radwan), was a 1986 grey mare of the old Tuwayssan strain, and will forever be my favorite Arabian mare. She is the reason for and the earliest manifestation of my passion for desert Arabian horses.

She was bred by my father, who bought her 26 year old dam from the late Fawaz al-Rajab, a horse merchant from Homs in the early eighties.  Her sire was the Saqlawi Jadran stallion Malek, the last asil stallion of Lebanese lines and a favorite of my father’s. I posted photos of him on this blog a few years ago. Click here to see them. Her dam was a very small bay mare with a beautiful classic head, sired by the Ma’naqi Sbayli stallion Radwan. Radwan traced to Sba’ah ‘Anazah bloodlines, and was standing at stud in Homs after a good career at the racetrack in Beirut, although he did not produce many race winners himself. The small bay mare was out of a desert-bred mare ‘from the Arabs of ‘Anazah’, a mare who had come to Homs during the series of draughts of the 1960s. That desert mare’s hujjah did not survive, but it was said to have contained the seals of seven big ‘Anazah shaykhs.

In 1994 we sold Al Tuwayssa to a breeder north of Homs, and a German friend of mine, Frauke Wiprich saw her there three years ago. I have no idea whether Al Tuwayssa is today, and whether she is still alive (she would be 26), especially that the area where she, Tall Bissah, is was one of the hardest hit by military activites in recent months.

Sweet, sweet Halima, I hope she is fine, wherever she is..

PS: that’s me in the first photo. I was 12, and Halima was 4. Click once on the photo to enlarge it, and then click again for the real size photo.


4 Responses to “Sweet Halima”

  1. What a lovely mare to start your lifelong passion with 🙂 My fervent hope she has escaped the heartbreaking destruction in your homeland.

  2. Lovely photo!
    I too hope Halima is safe and well.
    How lucky you were Edouard to have such an education and experience at an early age.
    For me it was just a single comment my uncle made when I was 6yo, I still remember, he told my mother (who knew nothing about horses) that ‘the Arab is the best horse in the world’. As a child I always believed him implicitly in all matters regarding horses, but nothing in all the years since of working with and ridng Arabs as well as the privilege of having them as part of my family has shaken my conviction that his statement was the simple absolute truth.

  3. Edouard you lucksack! Just look at that mares legs. You never see legs like that on our general list horses here in the U.S.
    best wishes
    Bruce Peek

  4. I miss this mare so much. I miss her more than I miss a lot of people. I wish she could come back.

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