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Ride Like a Wind ! | by Bashar Shglila
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Ride Like a Wind !

The festive horse-riding meet is known as "Sibeeb" which literally means the horse's mane.

A good sibeeb can attract rider groups and fanatics from tens and even hundreds of miles away. Each group of riders is called 'Igid, which means necklace, and some necklaces may have more than 20 riders (gems) abreast. An impressively large group can be called "a 24-carat necklace."

The Sibeeb riders and most of the observers are men. Some women gather on the sides to watch the riders, as well as to encourage them with old songs about valor, bravery, tribal pride, and horsemanship. The songs are so beautifully moving that some enchanted riders show off their skills on the side by making their horses dance to the cheer leaders' tunes.


The necklaces take turns to ride. They start by riding their horses on a slow, deliberate walk to the start of the track. Then, after they hear the start gun they turn around and ride like the wind !


The best necklace is who can maintain horses on the same level until the end of the Track !!


Riders dressed up in full Libyan regalia and heading to glory on their Arabians and Barbs! The ornate saddles are made of fine leather and textiles, including silk and silver-thread. Special gear for special occasions. The tradition of horseback riding runs quite deep in Libyan culture, and on the Libyan countryside, the mere sight of a well-dressed horse can lead to great poetry and songs!


Sidi As Sa'ih, Libya !

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Taken on November 12, 2009