My African Advent Calendar: Day 14, A HORSE

Riyah and her handler at her stables on the outskirts of Khartoum

She was always a bit fat and a bit lazy. Not really what you want in a racehorse. Riyah – named after the Arabic for wind – was the outcome of a genetic experiment, a cross between a purebred Arabian and a local Sudanese horse. It never quite worked out for her connections picking up nothing in the way of prize money. Her owner has long since moved on, finding other things to dabble in and other thrills to chase. But he was always a regular at the Khartoum race track. Who’s that? Osama bin Laden. To find out what Riyah tells us about Sudan, Darfur and the country’s relation to Islamic terrorism, well you’ll just have to buy my book next year

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