Qatar National Library presented a lecture on ‘The History of Horses in Qatar’ on 24 July, taking visitors on an informative journey into the world of Arabian horses.

The lecture was presented by Fahad Al-Marri, Protocol and International Relations Coordinator at Al Shaqab, who spoke about the prized breed that originated in the Arabian Gulf and has been an important part of Qatari life for many centuries.

The lecture highlighted the welfare of Arabian horses and how they are cared for, in keeping the QNL’s July focus on animals, their future and their interactions with humans.

After the lecture, a group of attendees visited Al Shaqab, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), where they got a closer look at the beauty of these animals and learned more about their place in Qatar’s heritage. Al Shaqab currently has over 1,000 horses worldwide of which 800 are based in Al Shaqab and other stables in Qatar. Other horses are based in Al Shaqab’s stables in France.

Shaped like a horseshoe, the 980,000 sq m Al Shaqab is home to an indoor and outdoor arena, Breeding & Show Centre, Equine Exercise Centre/Endurance Accommodation, Veterinary Centre Al Shaqab Hotel, and a restaurant, Chef’s Garden, amongst other things. The world-class Equine Exercise Centre is equipped with an equine jacuzzi, which an advanced device for a horses’ rehabilitation, completed with chlorine or sea salt and helps against loose skin, kills bacteria, and treats and prevents lower leg injuries; and equine swimming pools, which helps improve a horse’s metabolism, blood flow and oxygen intake. In the Emiri Stables, champion horses who’ve won in the some of the world’s most prestigious champions.

Mohammed Shaheen, a horse owner who attended the event, said:

I thank the Library and Al Shaqab for organising such an informative event. 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.’

Israa Abdullah, who also participated, added:

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.’