Arabian Horses - 3000 Lost in 8-Year Syria War

Published March 6th, 2019 - 08:13 GMT

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After almost eight years of war, she is one of dozens of Arabian horses from all over Syria recovering from the physical and psychological trauma of the fighting.

Prized for their beauty, endurance and speed, Arabian purebreds are one of the oldest horse breeds in the world.

In Syria, Bedouins have bred them in the north of the country for centuries, seeking to maintain the purity of the local bloodlines.

Damascus suffered five years of regime bombardment, as well as food and medicine shortages under a crippling siege, before Russia-backed government forces took it back last year. Continue reading below »

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A Syrian man prepares to ride a horse at a track in the town of Dimas, west of the Syrian capital Damascus 
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP
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Image 1 of 8:  1 / 8A Syrian man prepares to ride a horse at a track in the town of Dimas, west of the Syrian capital Damascus LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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A Syrian man rides a horse at a track in the town of Dimas, west of the Syrian capital Damascus 
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP
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Image 2 of 8:  2 / 8A Syrian man rides a horse at a track in the town of Dimas, west of the Syrian capital Damascus LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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Horse trainer Jihad Ghazal (R) holds the harness of a horse named Nejm (star, in Arabic) at a track in the town of Dimas, west of the Syrian capital Damascus 
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP
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Image 3 of 8:  3 / 8Horse trainer Jihad Ghazal (R) holds the harness of a horse named Nejm (star, in Arabic) at a track in the town of Dimas, west of the Syrian capital Damascus LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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Syrian mare Karen (L), which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus 
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP
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Image 4 of 8:  4 / 8Syrian mare Karen (L), which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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A man checks Syrian mare Karen, which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus 
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP
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Image 5 of 8:  5 / 8A man checks Syrian mare Karen, which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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Syrian mare Karen, which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus 
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP
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Image 6 of 8:  6 / 8Syrian mare Karen, which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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Syrian mare Karen (C), which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus 
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP
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Image 7 of 8:  7 / 8Syrian mare Karen (C), which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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Syrian mare Karen (R), which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP
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Image 8 of 8:  8 / 8Syrian mare Karen (R), which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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A Syrian man prepares to ride a horse at a track in the town of Dimas, west of the Syrian capital Damascus 
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

Image 1 of 8A Syrian man prepares to ride a horse at a track in the town of Dimas, west of the Syrian capital Damascus LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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A Syrian man rides a horse at a track in the town of Dimas, west of the Syrian capital Damascus 
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

Image 2 of 8A Syrian man rides a horse at a track in the town of Dimas, west of the Syrian capital Damascus LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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Horse trainer Jihad Ghazal (R) holds the harness of a horse named Nejm (star, in Arabic) at a track in the town of Dimas, west of the Syrian capital Damascus 
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

Image 3 of 8Horse trainer Jihad Ghazal (R) holds the harness of a horse named Nejm (star, in Arabic) at a track in the town of Dimas, west of the Syrian capital Damascus LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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Syrian mare Karen (L), which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus 
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

Image 4 of 8Syrian mare Karen (L), which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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A man checks Syrian mare Karen, which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus 
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

Image 5 of 8A man checks Syrian mare Karen, which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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Syrian mare Karen, which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus 
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

Image 6 of 8Syrian mare Karen, which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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Syrian mare Karen (C), which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus 
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

Image 7 of 8Syrian mare Karen (C), which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas, west of the capital Damascus LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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Syrian mare Karen (R), which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas
LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

Image 8 of 8Syrian mare Karen (R), which hails from the Hadbaa Enzahe strain of Arabian purebreds, stands at a stable in the town of Dimas LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

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Of the 8,500 horses that Syria registered with the World Arabian Horse Organization (WAHO) in 2011, it has lost 3,000 in the war, he says.

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