By Edouard Aldahdah
Posted on February 25th, 2013 in Egypt
Mohammad Mohammad Osman Faysal Abdallah Saoud al-Tahawi sent me this beautiful photo of his grandfather Faysal on a Ubayyat Ibn Thamdan mare, taken around 1955.
I like everything about this photo: the whitewashed tombs in the background, straight out of the Arabian Nights, the mud brick walls and the mud houses and the oasis, the old Shaykh on the mare, and the electric pole as a lonely testimony of creeping modernity in a scene that could otherwise have taken place a thousand years ago. And the mare of course: look at that perfect specimen of a desert mare: the full powerful croup, the walk, the carriage of the neck, and the long head so full of character. The strain above all: Faran Ibn Thamdan of the Sba’ah Bedouins was the owner of one of the three or four best strains of ‘Ubayyan Sharrak in North Arabia, a strain which produced some of the best foundation horses of the Arabian breeding program on my home country of Lebanon some fifty years ago.
More about the strain of Ubayyan ibn Thamdan later, once I am done staring at this picture.