20120515-horse mongoliaNaadam_rider_1.jpg
horse race in Mongolia
Before the age of engines and machines, horses ruled. They were ridden and used as beasts of burden and were vital in transportation, warfare and agriculture. Entire economies were dependent on them the same way we are on oil today.

A male horse is called a stallion. If he is the father of young horses he is referred to as a sire or a stud. Desexualized males are called geldings. A female is called a mare. If she is a mother she is called a dame. Young horses are called foals, fillies (females) colts (males). When they are one year old they are called yearlings. A group of horses is called a herd.

The height of a horse is measured in "hands" from the ground to the withers (the point between the back and the back of the neck). A hand is equal to 4 inches.

There are more than 250 breeds of horse, divided into three categories: heavy, light and pony. The smallest horses are the Falabella of Argentina (12 to 40 inches and weighs less than 150 pounds).

Websites and Resources: Mongols and Horsemen of the Steppe "The Horse, the Wheel and Language, How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes shaped the Modern World", David W Anthony, 2007 ; The Scythians - Silk Road Foundation ; Scythians ; Encyclopaedia Britannica article on the Huns ; Wikipedia article on Eurasian nomads Wikipedia Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; The Mongol Empire ; The Mongols in World History ; William of Rubruck's Account of the Mongols ; Mongol invasion of Rus (pictures) ; Encyclopædia Britannica article ; Mongol Archives

History of Horses


Ancient horses originally evolved in the grasslands of the Great Plains of North America from rabbit-size dawn horses, called eohippus, which roamed the earth 65 million years ago. Distantly related to the rhino, early horses: 1) developed longer legs to help them escape predators such as giant dogs and saber toothed tigers; 2) were able to use bacteria and protozoa in their stomachs to help them digest grass without developing the complex stomachs of ruminants; and 3) develop an elongated central toe whose nail thickened into a hoof.

As horses evolved they grew larger and larger and developed into a number of forms. They crossed the Bering Strait and spread throughout Asia and then Europe and Africa, roaming every continent but Australia and Antarctica. Ancient man hunted and painted images of them 25,000 years ago. These are believed to be the ancestors of domestic horses.

In America horses died out, mostly likely as the result of overhunting by early Americans. They were displaced by cattle and antelope, and remained absent until they were reintroduced by the Spanish in 1519. Wild horses are nearly extinct except for a few small herds in Central Asia.

The Przewalski's horse is the only kind of truly wild horse left in the wild. A few can still be found in Mongolia. The tarpan horse of Europe and northern Asia went extinct in the mid 19th century. The "wild horses" in North America are descended of domesticated horses that had been released in the wild.

Przewalski's Horse

cousin of first horses
The Przewalski's horse, also known as the wild Asiatic horse or takhi, is the only true wild horse left in the world and the last remaining species of wild horse. It is found almost exclusively in zoos although some have been reintroduced to Mongolia. Przewalski's horses are named after a 19th century Russian-Polish explorer, who brought some skins from the animal to Russia.[Source: Natural History, July 2002]

Przewalski's horses are small and stocky and look somewhat like mules. The closest living relative of the domestic horse, they are 2.2 to 2.6 meters in length, with a 80- to 110-centimeter-long tail, and weigh 200 to 300 kilograms. They are rusty brown to beige in color, with dark brown lower legs. Although they have different numbers of chromosomes they are the only members of the equid family capable of producing fertile offspring if interbred with domesticated horses.

Przewalski's horses are markedly different from domestic horses and regarded as a different species. They have several characteristics that are closer to the prehistoric ancestors of horses than to domesticated horses. They have a short neck, short back, stubby legs and a thin tail base and have a short mane and forelock. During the summer zebra-like stripes appear on their legs.

Horses Characteristics

Horses can live to be 30 or 40 years of age They have an acute sense of smell and hearing and can look forward with one eye and backwards with another. That is one reason why they are skittish and sometimes outfit with blinders.

Horses can trot, canter and gallop and reach speed of 43mph. Their hoof are actually large middle toes. The muscular hindquarters is the source of a horse’s power. The alignment of the legs critical for speed but is complicated.

Horses are vegetarians, generally eating grass in the summer and hay in the winter, but are not cud-chewing ruminants like cattle, sheep or goats. They need more grass than these animals and digest fibrous materials in a greatly enlarged section of their gut called a caecum, located between the large and small intestines. With no cud and a fermentation body at the end of the large intestine instead of the beginning, horses are only two thirds as efficient digesting grass as cattle or sheep and need a third more land to maintain their body weight.

Horses have large teeth that are best suited for grinding grass and can be used to tell a horses age. The first teeth are called "nippers," which are fully grown after nine months. Permanent teeth begin growing the third year. A full set of teeth is obtained at the end of the sixth year. The enamel edges wear down over time are usually completely gone by the 11th year.

Mongolian horses

Horse Behavior

Horses are much more active animals than cattle or sheep. They burn up a lot of calories, have metabolic rates. One reason they were domesticated much later than other animals is that they were not efficient food producers.

In the wild horses live in herd headed by a stallion that watches over 10 to 25 mares, foals and colts. If a rival defeats the stallion he takes over all the mares.

Horses become sexually mature around the age of 18 months. When colt grow up thy are kicked out of the herd, often forming bachelor groups. Bachelor groups have no real loyalty to each other. If threatened they often take off in opposite directions.

The gestation period for a horse is around 325 days. About 90 percent of all births take place at night. Most are single birth that take 15 to 30 minutes. Foals are born with their eyes wide open, stand up after a few minutes and can jump around in a few hours. If a foal is not out in 20 minutes there is a strong likelihood of serious problems for both the mare and the foal. To keep the foal from drowning its nose is held while the amniotic sack is broken so that water doesn’t go down his nose.

Foals nurse from their mothers for four or five months. They reach half size in one year and full size in five years.

Zebra Behavior and Social Structures

Grevy's zebra

Zebras are gregarious, nervous and skittish. They often gather in small herds and associate freely with wildebeests and other antelopes while remaining on the alert for lions.

Zebra behavior and social structure is very similar to that of wild horses. Plains and mountain zebras live in year-round breeding groups, consisting of a single adult male stallion, several adult mares and their offspring. The females in the group have strong social bonds with one another while the males vigorously fights off other males to maintain exclusive mating rights with his mares.

The bonds of female plains and mountain zebras are unique in that they between unrelated females rather than between sisters and relatives as is the case with most animals. This means that after young female zebras have been weaned they must leave the group like males. The evolutionary explanation for this is that stallions stay with same female group for a long time, meaning that if the females stayed in groups they might eventually mate with their fathers.

Grevy's zebra are less social. The only stable units are mares with their recent offspring. Stallions live alone and defend territories near water or tasty grass, where they hope to mate with ovulating females that pass into their territory while the females eat or drink. After giving birth the mare and her offspring stay in the male's territory, partly for protection and partly because they need to eat and drink there anyway. Males tend to be distributed based more on the presence of females than food.

Large herds of zebra are made many small herds, that come together to feed on good grazing land and then break apart.

Feeding, Mating and Fighting Zebras

Zebras are grazers. They travel long distances during the dry season to reach water and can eat course grasses that other grazers can't digest. Because they digest food rather inefficiently, they have to spend up to 16 hours a day grazing. Pregnant and lactating females especially need lots of grazing time.

Females only sexually receptive for a short time. The gestation period of a Grant's zebra is 365 days. Zebras don't give birth strictly in one season like some savannah animals. Zebra males sometime bit the necks of their mates before mating.

Male Grevy's zebra often fight to keep other males away from their choice waterfront or grazing area territory. Among more social zebras rubbing necks, snorting and shoving creates a buffer around the group,

Male zebras sometimes have kicking and biting matches to establish dominance over a territory. Most battles last around 20 minutes, after which time one has established its dominance and a an uneasy truce settles in. Fighting often consists of lunges at the rump or hind legs. The object is often to wound an opponent’s underbelly. Zebras fall to their knees as a defensive strategy to protect themselves. Sometimes the battling zebras become so engrossed in what they doing they fail to notice lions that have sneaked up upon them.

Sometimes a male will slip into the herd while the stallion is fighting another male long enough long enough to check out reproductive status of the females and may even try to copulae. Bachelor herds sometimes advance on a stallion as a unit, with a stallion sometimes having to fend off attacks from five or six of the bachelors. Sometimes when this happens the bachelors not fighting head for the females. Sometimes stallions from different herds will join together to fight off the invading bachelors.

By associating with a dominant male, females secure enough time to graze and take care of their young. Without the stallion there grazing time would be reduced by males making unwanted advances.

Horses and Men

Horse meat in Mongolia
Horses improved the life of men immensely. They were fast, could carry humans and heavy loads, and survived on low quality vegetation. The taming and domestication of horses was an important step in the history of mankind. It allowed people to move across distances at level never imagined before and migrate from isolated pockets to places where no other people lived.

Horses have provided transport and labor as well as leather tools, milk and meat. In times of peace they were means of commerce and a widely traded good. In times of war they were battlefield vehicles.

Horses are controlled with a bit, which is placed between a natural gap between the front and rear teeth.

Mongol adults ate, drank, conducted meeting, did business and even slept on horseback. Young children, not yet able to walk, were put on the backs of sheep so they get the feel of riding.

Horses were first cloned in 2005. This was achieved with a surrogate mother that was also a genetic donor).

Types of Horses

Farmers need strong horses that can pull heavy loads. Racers need thin, high-strung horses that can run fast and soldiers can horses that could maneuver quickly and had courage. Over the years horses were "selectively bred" to meet these and other needs. In selective breeding male and female horses with desired characteristics are mated.

Mongol horses were small but durable with a thick neck, short legs and a large head. They were "obedient, even tempered and ideal for winter fighting.” Horses were rarely used as beats of burden. Oxen were used to pull and carry loads in rocky terrain and camels were favored on grass and sand. Mongol children learned to ride at around the age of our of five.

Horse Breeds

There are more than 250 breeds of horse, divided into three categories: heavy, light and pony. The smallest horses are the Falabella of Argentina (12 to 40 inches and weighs less than 150 pounds).

When pre-historic cave artists drew spots and lines on animals it often isn’t clear whether they were meant to be symbolic or accurate depictions. Some renderings of horses contains spots like those found on modern Appaloosa horses. It was long thought that the spots on these horses were probably symbolic. According to National Geographic: “Though dappled coats were thought to exist only on a few modern horses, the genotype showed up frequently in DNA analysis of horse bones from western Europe’s Pleistocene epoch (2.6 million to 11,700 years ago).

Ludovic Orlando, a professor of molecular archaeology at the University of Copenhagen's Natural History Museum of Denmark, told the Washington Post: “I believe horses are the most important domesticated animal in history,” he said. “Without horses, the history of warfare would be different, and therefore the history of humanity.” He cited cavalry, chariots and accomplished equestrians like Alexander the Great who became ancient leaders. Ben Guarino of the Washington Post, said “Chickens kept us fed, and dogs kept us company. Horses, though, allowed humans to travel faster and farther, not only spreading our descendants to other lands, but our ideas and cultures, too.” [Source: Ben Guarino, Washington Post, April 27, 2017]

Prezewalsky horses

Arabian Horses

Arabian horses are said to be the world’s oldest recognized breed. They are fast and have extraordinary endurance. They and their descendants, thoroughbreds, dominate both horse racing and 100-mile long distance rides. Their arched throat and “proud” neck allow the horses to accommodate a large windpipe which allows them to “drink the wind.” [Source: Jennifer Lee Carrell, Smithsonian magazine]

Jennifer Lee Carrell wrote in Smithsonian magazine: “Arabians look different from other horses as fairy-tale princes and princess look from peasants. They hold their tails high and arch their necks in swanlike curves. Their heads are finely chiseled and their faces display widely spaced cheekbones, sometimes called jowls, sweep into a muzzle said to be delicate enough to drink from a teacup.”

Arabians tend to be large horses. They have spindly legs, long bones and straight shoulders. Arabs say the perfect horse must have a neck curved like a crescent moon and a nose small enough to fit into a tea cup. Arabians sometimes accompanied caravans. They were generally only ridden when the caravan was attacked or a rider attacked a foe. Prized horses were sometimes given their own tents.

According to legend Arabian horses date back at least to the time of Queen of Sheeba, who it is said gave one to King Solomon. The first Arabians were bred by Bedouins to race across the sand, endure the harsh desert, and fight in battles and raids. A single breeding female could be worth an entire herd of camels.

Arabians were first bred in 800 A.D. They have a slight concave" or dished face, the same horses depicted in Greek and Roman, which means that Arabians may been breed for more than 2,000 years.

Early Bedouins both pampered and tested their horses. To toughen them up they were forced to run in the hot sun and survive on nothing but camel milk and crushed dates for months. Horses that couldn’t make the grade often died. Prized mares and their foals were given special care: during fierce sandstorms they were brought into the tents with the people.

Mongolian horses

Arabians and Thoroughbreds

The Middle East s the ancestral home of thoroughbred horses. All modern thoroughbred have the blood of one of three Arabian sires brought to England: 1) Byerly Turk (1680-96), captured from the Turkish army in the Battle of Buda in Hungary and imported to Britain in 1689 and used in the Irish wars: 2) Darely Arabian (1700-30), the only pure Anazah Arabian horse, bought for 300 gold sovereigns in Aleppo, Syria and smuggled out of Syria and brought to British in 1706; and 3) Godolphin Barb (1724-54), born in Yemen and given to King Louis XV of France and then sold to the Earl of Godolphin.

Every one of the world’s several hundred thousand thoroughbred horses descended from 28 horses imported to Britain and Ireland — the three males mention above and 25 mares — around 300 years ago, with about 95 percent of them are descendants of Darley Arabian. Byerly Turk and Godolphin Barb account for the other five percent. Of the 25 ancestral females, the most dominant is Tregonwell’s mother. She founded about 14 percent of all the maternal lines. Altogether about 80 horses were imported from Egypt and Arabia during this period but the lines of 50 of these horses died out.

Eclipse (1764-89) is a famous British race horse that won 18 races without being whipped or spurred. The great-great grandson of Darley Arabian, he is thought to be the ancestor of 80 percent of the thoroughbreds racing today.

Thoroughbreds have been so successfully bred that they are believed to be at their limit in terms of endurance, lung capacity and muscle strength. The winners of the major horse races in Britain have not improved since the 1920s. The effects of inbreeding has increased the likelihood of broken bones, tendon damage and bleeding lungs.

World’s Top Horse Exporting and Importing Countries

World’s Top Exporters of Horses (2019): 1) United States: Horses: 121473 head; 2) Netherlands: 14092 head; 3) France: 13291 head; 4) Belgium: 11534 head; 5) Canada: 11362 head; 6) United Kingdom: 11240 head; 7) Netherlands: 6838 tonnes; 8) France: 6619 tonnes; 9) Ireland: 6334 head; 10) Poland: 6103 head; 11) Belgium: 4939 tonnes; 12) Germany: 4811 head; 13) Spain: 4285 head; 14) Denmark: 3935 head; 15) South Africa: 3784 head; 16) Poland: 3390 tonnes; 17) United Arab Emirates: 3353 head; 18) Romania: 3243 head; 19) Thailand: 3175 head; 20) Namibia: 2938 head: [Source: FAOSTAT, Food and Agriculture Organization (U.N.),]

World’s Top Exporters (in value terms) of Horses (2019): 1) Hong Kong: US$567827,000; 2) United Kingdom: US$469524,000; 3) United States: US$370633,000; 4) Netherlands: US$350832,000; 5) Ireland: US$295085,000; 6) Germany: US$224024,000; 7) France: US$209536,000; 8) Australia: US$117310,000; 9) Belgium: US$115868,000; 10) New Zealand: US$110361,000; 11) Canada: US$73060,000; 12) United Arab Emirates: US$29092,000; 13) Argentina: US$25033,000; 14) Denmark: US$24667,000; 15) Japan: US$20382,000; 16) Switzerland: US$14660,000; 17) Sweden: US$13153,000; 18) Qatar: US$12923,000; 19) Spain: US$12444,000; 20) Poland: US$12038,000

World’s Top Importers of Horses (2020): 1) Maldives: 69709 head; 2) Belgium: 53971 head; 3) Mexico: 39508 head; 4) Italy: 30437 head; 5) Belgium: 23622 tonnes; 6) Spain: 22325 head; 7) United States: 18282 head; 8) Italy: 16054 tonnes; 9) Canada: 15105 head; 10) Kazakhstan: 6171 head; 11) United Kingdom: 5326 head; 12) Switzerland: 4235 head; 13) Netherlands: 3478 head; 14) Hong Kong: 3291 head; 15) Ireland: 3191 head; 16) Japan: 2619 head; 17) Kazakhstan: 2468 tonnes; 18) Australia: 2387 head; 19) Germany: 2238 head; 20) United Arab Emirates: 2229 head: [Source: FAOSTAT, Food and Agriculture Organization (U.N.),]

World’s Top Importers (in value terms) of Horses (2020): 1) Hong Kong: US$699579,000; 2) United States: US$565658,000; 3) United Kingdom: US$487087,000; 4) Ireland: US$452915,000; 5) Japan: US$161334,000; 6) Australia: US$119968,000; 7) France: US$113701,000; 8) Switzerland: US$69876,000; 9) Netherlands: US$57872,000; 10) Canada: US$55423,000; 11) Belgium: US$48920,000; 12) New Zealand: US$44049,000; 13) Italy: US$39988,000; 14) Germany: US$38967,000; 15) Mexico: US$35286,000; 16) Denmark: US$19394,000; 17) Norway: US$17348,000; 18) Qatar: US$14761,000; 19) Sweden: US$13802,000; 20) Turkey: US$11322,000

World’s Top Importers of Horses (2019): 1) Mexico: 72315 head; 2) Spain: 28833 head; 3) Italy: 28361 head; 4) Philippines: 24726 head; 5) United States: 19103 head; 6) Canada: 18566 head; 7) Italy: 15000 tonnes; 8) Belgium: 11995 head; 9) Denmark: 7837 head; 10) United Kingdom: 5890 head; 11) Ireland: 5228 head; 12) France: 4873 head; 13) Japan: 4741 head; 14) Switzerland: 4304 head; 15) Belgium: 4206 tonnes; 16) Netherlands: 3411 head; 17) United Arab Emirates: 3221 head; 18) Hong Kong: 2696 head; 19) Greece: 2599 head; 20) Australia: 2191 head:

World’s Top Importers (in value terms) of Horses (2019): 1) Hong Kong: US$672560,000; 2) United States: US$631457,000; 3) United Kingdom: US$500612,000; 4) Ireland: US$331794,000; 5) Japan: US$166174,000; 6) Australia: US$110046,000; 7) France: US$90393,000; 8) Switzerland: US$83570,000; 9) Netherlands: US$74177,000; 10) Mexico: US$70901,000; 11) Canada: US$68325,000; 12) New Zealand: US$49966,000; 13) Italy: US$39919,000; 14) Germany: US$38041,000; 15) Belgium: US$34358,000; 16) Denmark: US$27979,000; 17) Sweden: US$23525,000; 18) South Korea: US$22661,000; 19) China: US$18897,000; 20) Norway: US$17635,000

World’s Top Horse Meat Producing and Exporting Countries

World’s Top Producers of Horse Meat (2020): 1) Kazakhstan: 142924 tonnes; 2) China: 139590 tonnes; 3) Mongolia: 105881 tonnes; 4) Mexico: 76996 tonnes; 5) Russia: 48166 tonnes; 6) Kyrgyzstan: 25142 tonnes; 7) Australia: 23879 tonnes; 8) Brazil: 23328 tonnes; 9) Canada: 22528 tonnes; 10) Argentina: 20189 tonnes; 11) United States: 19322 tonnes; 12) Chile: 8934 tonnes; 13) Uruguay: 8245 tonnes; 14) Ukraine: 7400 tonnes; 15) Senegal: 7239 tonnes; 16) Uzbekistan: 6775 tonnes; 17) Colombia: 5406 tonnes; 18) Haiti: 5124 tonnes; 19) Japan: 4025 tonnes; 20) Mali: 3002 tonnes [Source: FAOSTAT, Food and Agriculture Organization (U.N.), A tonne (or metric ton) is a metric unit of mass equivalent to 1,000 kilograms (kgs) or 2,204.6 pounds (lbs). A ton is an imperial unit of mass equivalent to 1,016.047 kg or 2,240 lbs.]

World’s Top Producers of Horse Offals (2020): 1) China: 17449 tonnes; 2) Mexico: 15399 tonnes; 3) Mongolia: 15203 tonnes; 4) Kazakhstan: 14822 tonnes; 5) Russia: 5482 tonnes; 6) Brazil: 4928 tonnes; 7) Kyrgyzstan: 2933 tonnes; 8) Australia: 2674 tonnes; 9) Argentina: 2555 tonnes; 10) Canada: 2253 tonnes; 11) United States: 2087 tonnes; 12) Uruguay: 1053 tonnes; 13) Chile: 1021 tonnes; 14) Colombia: 890 tonnes; 15) Senegal: 811 tonnes; 16) Uzbekistan: 771 tonnes; 17) Ukraine: 691 tonnes; 18) Haiti: 646 tonnes; 19) Nicaragua: 503 tonnes; 20) Japan: 377 tonnes ; [Offals are the intestines and internal organs of an animal consumed as food.]

World’s Top Exporters of Horse Meat (2020): 1) Mongolia: 19135 tonnes; 2) Argentina: 10606 tonnes; 3) Belgium: 9861 tonnes; 4) Netherlands: 8644 tonnes; 5) Romania: 8295 tonnes; 6) Spain: 8251 tonnes; 7) Poland: 7614 tonnes; 8) Uruguay: 5554 tonnes; 9) Canada: 4409 tonnes; 10) Brazil: 3171 tonnes; 11) France: 2802 tonnes; 12) Italy: 2510 tonnes; 13) Kenya: 1091 tonnes; 14) Bulgaria: 884 tonnes; 15) Luxembourg: 678 tonnes; 16) Australia: 631 tonnes; 17) Colombia: 571 tonnes; 18) Peru: 569 tonnes; 19) Denmark: 453 tonnes; 20) Germany: 326 tonnes [Source: FAOSTAT, Food and Agriculture Organization (U.N.),]

World’s Top Exporters (in value terms) of Horse Meat (2020): 1) Belgium: US$53105,000; 2) Netherlands: US$40674,000; 3) Poland: US$38264,000; 4) Spain: US$34097,000; 5) Argentina: US$33075,000; 6) Mongolia: US$32384,000; 7) Canada: US$32028,000; 8) Romania: US$25989,000; 9) Uruguay: US$20197,000; 10) France: US$16592,000; 11) Italy: US$11075,000; 12) Brazil: US$7892,000; 13) Luxembourg: US$3983,000; 14) Colombia: US$2677,000; 15) Bulgaria: US$2599,000; 16) Australia: US$1910,000; 17) China: US$1515,000; 18) Kenya: US$1460,000; 19) Denmark: US$1357,000; 20) Peru: US$1304,000

World’s Top Horse Meat Importing Countries

World’s Top Importers of Horse Meat (2020): 1) Italy: 26633 tonnes; 2) China: 18857 tonnes; 3) Belgium: 13409 tonnes; 4) Netherlands: 9317 tonnes; 5) Russia: 8109 tonnes; 6) France: 7061 tonnes; 7) Japan: 4646 tonnes; 8) Switzerland: 2267 tonnes; 9) Kazakhstan: 2099 tonnes; 10) Germany: 1587 tonnes; 11) Finland: 1186 tonnes; 12) Bulgaria: 1137 tonnes; 13) United States: 978 tonnes; 14) Luxembourg: 745 tonnes; 15) Spain: 430 tonnes; 16) Poland: 413 tonnes; 17) Austria: 240 tonnes; 18) Sweden: 215 tonnes; 19) Comoros: 112 tonnes; 20) Hungary: 101 tonnes [Source: FAOSTAT, Food and Agriculture Organization (U.N.),]

World’s Top Importers (in value terms) of Horse Meat (2020): 1) Italy: 125444,000; 2) Belgium: 55479,000; 3) Netherlands: 36712,000; 4) China: 35593,000; 5) France: 34997,000; 6) Japan: 34958,000; 7) Switzerland: 29116,000; 8) Russia: 21684,000; 9) Luxembourg: 5141,000; 10) Germany: 4871,000; 11) Kazakhstan: 4833,000; 12) Finland: 3505,000; 13) United States: 2370,000; 14) Bulgaria: 2221,000; 15) Spain: US$1074,000; 16) Sweden: US$779,000; 17) Poland: US$562,000; 18) Austria: US$487,000; 19) Slovakia: US$440,000; 20) Belarus: US$323,000. [Source: FAOSTAT, Food and Agriculture Organization (U.N.),]

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: National Geographic, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wikipedia, BBC, Comptom’s Encyclopedia, Lonely Planet Guides, Silk Road Foundation, “The Discoverers “ by Daniel Boorstin; “ History of Arab People “ by Albert Hourani (Faber and Faber, 1991); “Islam, a Short History “ by Karen Armstrong (Modern Library, 2000); and various books and other publications.

Last updated April 2022

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