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March 6, 2016

QDL Archives Celebrate Long-Standing Arab Equine Tradition

It is thought the Arabian Peninsula is the place where man first saddled a horse.Since the Pre-Islamic age, Arabs have been famed for their equine glories and extraordinary passion for horses.
Various manuscripts and books available on the Qatar Digital Library (QDL), the Qatar National Library (QNL) and the British Library, capture the essence of horsemanship and the long-standing equine tradition in the Arab world.
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Accessible on QDL is a book titled, ‘The Arabian Horse, His Country And People’, authored by Major-General William Tweedie, formerly HBM's Consul-General, Baghdad, and Political Resident for the Government of India in Turkish Arabia. In his book, Tweedie conveys his deep love of Arabian horses. Published in 1894, the book includes portraits of the people of Arabia, various sketches of Arabian horses, and a descriptive glossary of Arabic names for horses.
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QNL’s digital resources on Qatar’s heritage provide us with an ideal opportunity to explore equestrianism as Qatar successfully concludes the CHI AL SHAQAB 2016 in the landmark venue built within the premises of Education City. Throughout the event, Qatar hosted top-ranking local, regional and international riders who competed in various equine disciplines.
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QDL contains a wealth of historic books and manuscripts where European politicians and explorers recorded their travels across the Arabian Peninsula. Through these adventures, they gained valuable insights into the traditions and ways of life of Arab tribes.

QDL gives Arabian horse lovers and equine enthusiasts access to three gems from the golden age of Islamic civilisation. Dating back to 9th Century, Kitāb al-furūsīyah wa-shiyāt al-khayl (Book of Horsemanship and Horse Characteristics) by Muḥammad ibn Yaqub Akhi Ḥizam, the horse trainer of the Abbasid Caliph, al-Mu‘taḍid, is one of the earliest Arabic texts on veterinary medicine.  

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