President’s Message 2018
Seventy years ago, as the world rebounded from the ravages of World War II, a few Americans employed in the petroleum industry ventured deep into the recesses of the Arabian Peninsula. Among the Bedouin tribesmen with whom they became friendly, they encountered country of origin Salukis. These Americans were not the only ex patriots in the Middle East to meet and develop an awareness of country of origin hounds. Wherever oil, diplomacy and trade reached—be it in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel or Iran—the Western acquaintance with the indigenous Oriental hound was resumed anew.
Some of these petroleum engineers, geologists, diplomats and commercial attaches returned to their homelands with treasured Salukis acquired from Middle Eastern breeders, Bedouin and villagers alike. The mechanism for incorporating their country of origin Salukis into UK or FCI affiliated registries existed for the British and other Europeans.
Such was not the case in the United States for Americans returning from the Middle East with their country of origin Salukis. A few early notable Middle Eastern Salukis were accepted but later imports were barred from AKC registration. And thus, fifty years ago, the earliest seeds for the incorporation of The Society for the Perpetuation of Desert Bred Salukis were sown.
The saga of The Society is told elsewhere on this website. But here we are today in 2018. The Middle East is plunged into conflict. The suffering and displacement of millions of people in and from their homelands has severely impacted their domestic animals including the Oriental hound. And in the more peaceful areas, modernism has profoundly altered traditional lifestyles and traditions.
While understanding today’s realities and learning how best to address them, The Society has remained steadfast in its founding goal: Protect all aspects of the genetic diversity of the Saluki breed, especially through the perpetuation of registered country of origin Salukis.
The mechanism today for registering country of origin Salukis in the United States has been the singular achievement of The Society. But the new twenty-first century challenges of war and political turmoil in the Middle East have affected country of origin Salukis. Once again, Westerners are exporting hounds from the Middle East. Cruelly, these hounds are not being afforded the opportunity to prove themselves; they are being rendered incapable of propagation prior to export thereby eliminating any possible potential for contributing to the purebred diversity of the breed.
The Society is joining with other animal-oriented American organizations that share cultural heritage activities derived from Middle Eastern countries. These groups share The Society’s interest in protecting the genetic diversity of the animals they research and support. Through these communal efforts, The Society’s officers and directors of strive to pursue our founding goal of contributing to the future and well-being of the Saluki breed.