The thoroughbred Arabian horses have been an integral part of Qatari social life for centuries, noted an official from Al Shaqab, a member of Qatar Foundation.
“The Arabian horses have been part and parcel of our life from the time of our forefathers. They have been also used for transportation in the earlier days,” said Fahad al-Marri, protocol and international relations coordinator at Al Shaqab, during a lecture titled 'The History of Horses in Qatar' at Qatar National Library on Wednesday.
Al-Marri spoke about the prized breed that originated in the Arabian Gulf and how they have shaped social life in the country.
“Al Shaqab hosts more than 1,000 Arabian horses and many of them take part in international competitions. So far, 17 horses from Qatar have won international competitions and 14 were from Al Shaqab,” he explained.
He noted that Qatari horses such as Gazal Al Shaqab, Marwan Al Shaqab, Al Adeed Al Shaqab, Wadi Al Shaqab, Fadi Al Shaqab, Kahil Al Shaqab and Hariry Al Shaqab were winners of international competitions in different years.
According to al-Marri, several people from different countries visit Al Shaqab and the visits to the facility is open to the public free of cost.
“The horses are well treated at Al Shaqab as they get some of the best facilities such as swimming pool or jacuzzi. They are provided air-conditioned stables and cared with the best living conditions," continued the official.
Al-Marri also described the features of the Arabian horses, their specialties as well as the colours.
The lecture provided an informative journey into the world of Arabian horses and highlighted the welfare of them and how they are cared for.
The library is focusing on animals, their future and their interactions with humans as the theme for July.
After the lecture, the audience also had the opportunity to visit Al Shaqab, where they got a closer look at the beauty of the animals and learned more about their place in Qatar’s heritage.
Mohamed Shaheen, a horse owner who attended the event, said: “ I learned useful information about Arabian horses, their history and what makes them one of the finest breeds. I own a horse, so I know about their behaviour, but it is refreshing to hear from experts and read more about horses."
“Horses have been an important part of people’s lives in the Arab world, especially in Qatar, so it is important for us to know more about these animals. Identifying the breed of a horse is a difficult task for those who are not experts in this field, but the speaker shared interesting information with us at the event and we got to know more about the different breeds,” added Israa Abdullah, another participant.