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Jibbah, mitbeh and all the rest
Author : Urszula Łęczycka | 2006-07-21 | Drukuj

The Arabian Horse – history, mystery and magic” is edited by Iranian journalist, editor and film producer Hossein Amirsadeghi album-story about Arabian horse breeding worldwide.

The book includes two parts – first with introduction by HRH Sh. Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (UAE) is dedicated to Arabian horse breeding history from the ancient times. It contents a lot of curiosities – such as that the oldest evidence of Arabian-like horse existence was the skeleton (1700 years B.C.) of the horse owned by Hyksos from Synai Penisula. The other tittle-tattle is that King Salomon was the owner of 12000 Arabian horses!

The following chapters are dedicated to the culture of various Beduin tribes, development of the first lines and sub-lines of Arabian horse breed, the comments of the first European horse breeders traveling to the Middle East, stories of famous Arabian horse breed founders such as Skowronek or El Shaklan and finally - the history of the beginnings of Arabian horse breeding in the countries the breed appeared to – including the stud books, the main breeding organizations, shows and sports that Arabian horses takes part in.

Big part of this chapters describes the Middle East culture of breeding – that also includes many curiosities such as the three features that made the Arabian horse’s head especially attractive for the Beduins – these were: jibbah (the forehead shape), mitbeh (the way a head is settled into the neck) and size and position of horse’s ears.

The first part was written by Peter Upton – famous British Arabian horse expert, historian, breeder, painter, traveler and world known judge. This part of the book is illustrated by the great paintings of famous artists – as Victor Adam, Eugene Delacroix, January Suchodolski, Juliusz Kossak, Georges Washington, Landseer and others. Each painting has its own description respecting the way the horse or/and his rider looks like or the situation it is painted in.


Second part of the book contains the most important facts of Arabian horse breeding in 30 different countries with Arabian poems, adages, Koran quotations. Wonderful, contemporary pictures (mostly by Rik Van Lent Sr and Jr) shows not only beautiful and famous horses but also the landscapes and scenery characteristic for each country. Many of the horses are pictured with their famous owners such as Charlie Watts, Partick Swayze or HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein.


At the end of the book there is also a mini-dictionary of Arabian words describing a horse, list of most important Beduin tribes breeding horses, as well as the list of Arabian horse lines and sub-lines of desert and the record of Arabian horse breeding organization in different countries mentioned in the book.

Without a doubt this album would be the attractive and important part of every Arabian horse enthusiast’s library.


„The Arabian horse. History, Mystery and Magic” edited by Hossein Amirsadeghi

Text by Peter Upton, photos: Rik van Lent Sr & Jr, introduction: HRH Sh. Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, soft cover, 256 pages, 300 illustrations, published by Thames&Hudson

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