The most common breed in the Middle East and is it any wonder due to its extreme hardiness!
The Awassi originates in the Syro-Arabian desert and goes by names such as the Ivesi, Baladi, Deiri, Syrian, Ausi, Nuami or Gezirieh. They are a multi-coloured sheep, usually white with a brown head and legs, though it can also come in black and brown. They have a fat tail and their ears are drooping and very long.
The breed is most commonly found in countries such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine and Israel. The breed is used for a range of purposes, such as wool, meat and milk. They are though, primarily used for milk production and are the highest milking breed, after the East Friesian breed.
They are highly disease resistant as well parasites. They can walk extremely long distances, making them perfect for the middle Eastern regions. They are capable of withstanding extremely high temperatures also. They can also compensate for a lack of feed, by using stored energy reserves in their fat tail.
Not only are they hardy and capable of withstanding desert conditions, but the Awassi can thrive in them. They are truly the desert king of the Middle East.