and thoughts are intimately interwoven. They help to define the way
we behave. Since we are effected by the confines of our own language,
we always think within the confines of our own vocabulary.
series is about the lexical terms of institutions that define our culture,
how they originated, and how they developed. In short, their stories are
a mirror of our ourselves and how we think.
would be surprised to discover that linguistically speaking, many of our
present institutions in Egypt in particular and the East in general, are
a reflection of a bygone era when "Horse Culture" was paramount.
include present institutions such as the body of Politics "Siyasah",
court "Mahkamah", system of government "Hukuwmah",
Management "Idarah", our learning institutions "Madaris",
wisdom "Hikmah", sports "Riyadah", morals
and manners (chivalry) "Firuwsiyah," and much more.
way to investigate the "Horse Culture" of our distant past
is to explore the origins of the linguistic terms which our institutions
are known by.
through usage and time, these "lexical definitions" have steadily worn
off and the true meaning of these terms have systematically faded away.
this linguistic deterioration be a contributing factor to our constant
failure to grasp the simplest concept of governing, which leads to cultural
by revisiting the dark recessions our collective linguistic subconscious,
the true meaning of these terms could be resuscitated. Perhaps in
doing so, we could recapture their essence and better our understanding
our first example: Our political institution known as al-Siyasah
was born out of the "Horse Culture" era:
part of the world, the counterpart term for politics is "Siyasah".
"Siyasah" is the way our government, headed by a ruler, makes
policy and organizes its administration.
story began thousands of years ago when horses were first introduced into
by the Hyksos during the Second Intermediate Period (about 1700-1550
or "shepherd kings," came from Syria and were probably a
wandering nomadic tribe. They were admitted into Lower Egypt, perhaps
peacefully, and gradually acquired an ascendancy there. They stormed
the ancient capital, and by conquest won control of Thebes
of Upper Egypt.
theory is that they defeated the Egyptians by the use of horses and war-chariots
in battle. The horse was unknown in Egypt before that time, but had
been in common use in Asiatic warfare.
Egyptian historian Manetho commented on this event:
"I know not wherefore,
the gods caused to blow on us an evil wind, and in the face of all
probability bands from the East ignoble people, came upon us unawares,
attacked the country and subdued it easily, without fighting."
consequent, the Hyksos obtained control of the land and held it
in subjection for over four hundred years. Although perhaps
they never wholly subdued the princes farthest up the Nile, who led a long
and sustained resistance which extended across many generations.
Ancient Egyptians redressed the balance of power with the help of desert
nomads from Arabia ("Ta Ntr"; the land of the God,
known as Aribi) when they were introduced to horses,
which they bred in areas of Upper Nubia where the grazing grounds
were suitable and out of reach of the Hyksos.
result, special attention was given to breeding horses secretly.
This secrecy intended to chariot technology as well. As a result, these
new improvements increased considerably the mobility of the Egyptian armies.
Soon the effect began to be felt on the battlefield, much to the detriment
and surprise of the Hyksos occupier.
between the Theban 17th Dynasty and the Hyksos saw the use
of horses on both sides, and with it the steady erosion of the Hyksos
armies supplied with the newly formed divisions of charioteers pulled by
Egyptian bred horses marched into Avaris in the eastern part of
the Delta. There, they decisively defeated the Hyksos.
At last , the Hyksos had met their match.
was now pharaoh of a united Egypt stretching from the borders of
Nubian to the Mediterranean, pushing Egypt’s borders beyond the Sinai desert.
It is clear that Egypt only restored its strength and past glory once it
had successfully adapted to, and embraced, the "Horse Culture."
New Kingdom, Egyptians had engaged in horse breeding and horses were owned
by the military elite, as well as to the ruling class.
the novelty and rarity of horses meant that they were a status symbol,
owned only by wealthy and influential people. They were well looked
after, and were given individual names. Splendid stables were built
for them and they were fed the best fodder.
Ancient Egyptians did not ride on horses but rather used them to pull chariots.
Two horses were the rule. Horseshoes were not used. Egyptian horses, which
were most likely identical to those in the Near East, were rather
small by comparison to modern horses. They were called "ses" and
survived in our Arabic language as "siysiy" a term referring to
a small sized horse.
term "Siyasah" was born out of the concept of handling and
grooming horses by the sayis (horse attendant, sayis
is also the source of the English term "syce" with the
same exact meaning). Who often used cajoling techniques to tame the
horse and in the end was able to imposes his will upon the beast.
One can see how the art of tending and managing horses inspired the
rule of good governance, or simply
no wonder that the "Siyasah" concept, in our present day
culture, personifies the delicate and refined art of diplomacy "al-silk
al-Siyasiy". An art which is heartily promoted by any
civilized government in lieu of brutal force and violent confrontation.
This is best illustrated in individual social intercourse, as well as in
rulers are more prone to the unnecessary use of violence, it is due to
their lack of "chivalry" education, excuse my pun.
Perhaps, a course in stable management, might be a good idea as a prerequisite
for future aspiring politicians. Riding, grooming, and tending a
horse, as well as cleaning his stall, could go a long way in instilling
principles of good governance and perhaps help in avoiding the pitfalls
of horseshit nonsense that often politicians fall into.
this is "Siyasah" for you.
the art of "MANÈGE" and the science of modern management.