By Edouard Aldahdah
Posted on December 9th, 2012 in General
I am stuck in the Frankfurt airport on my way to Cairo (again) because of a snowstorm, and was reading this future studies article on what the Middle East will be looking like fifty years from now. The scenarios outlined are quite grim. Most of them involve a combination of large-scale and extended droughts, environmental degradation (salinity and rapid urbanization are rapidly killing the Nile Delta), water shortages (San’aa, the capital of Yemen will be the first city in the world to completely run out of water by 2020– that’s in 7 years), water wars, demographic explosion, urban unrest in sprawling slums, large scale unemployment, violence, etc.
This brings me to the subject of the survival of the Desert Arabian horse in its original homeland, which is seriously threatened. It reinforces my belief that the valuable genetic material still available in the Middle East will need to find its way to more stable parts of the world (like the USA or Canada, because I just don’t see Western Europe on a path of long term stability) where it can be preserved for generations to come. I am not talking about the high-end, overbred, delicate Egyptian Arabian horse creatures that grace Egyptian and Gulf studs; the blood of Nazeer, Moniet, Bukra, etc, is all over the world, and it’s not exactly threatened with extinction. If these Egyptian lines are to become extinct, it would be because their narrow genetic base would have caused so much degeneresence to the breed that it’s no longer viable. Rather I am talking about native bloodlines from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and whatever is left of the Syrian breeding by the end of the conflict there, not much problably. These are bloodlines and strains not found anywhere else in the Arabian horse population (e.g., Kuhaylan Umm Zoayr, Kuhaylan al-Adiat, Mlolshaan and Tuwayssan in Bahrain; Kuhaylan al-Armush, Kuhaylan al-Hablani, Rishan and Saadan in Syria; Kuhaylan Shunaynan in Saudi Arabia, and others). I am determined to play my part in this long term rescue effort, and just waiting for things to settle down in Syria a bit, before acting.
By the way, the English translation of an Arabic book on the Arabian horses of Iraq is just out, and falsely claims that the racing-related lines there are asil, which is far from the truth. Most of the Iraqi lines are contaminated with the blood of the English Thoroughbred stallion Tabib, who went from Cyprus to Bagdad via Beirut ,and eventually reached the racetracks of Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Such falsehoods and revisionnism may need a new book to refute, and I am determined to do this, too.