His name appears in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, and words poet and court jester, Abu Nuwas, wrote in the 9th century about a breed we admire today are not only the earliest written reference to the Saluki, but they still hold true:
It is as though behind the place where his eyelashes meet there are burning coals constantly kindles…like a hawk swooping on sand-grouse, he peels the skin of the earth with four feet. He runs so Swift! They do not touch the earth as he runs.
In another place, Abu Nuwas wrote:
Like an arrow it was sent,
Tearing away from his own skin,
Lightening like a cloud
He also wrote:
I will sing the praise of my Saluki whose owner’s good fortune is assured by his tremendous effort.
All the good things they have come from him…
My Saluki’s excellent conformation is pleasing to the eye, also the receding corners of his mouth and his long muzzle,
Deers are in trouble when he is hunting …
What a fine Saluki you are, without equal!
There were many names bestowed upon the Saluki by the Bedouins who treasured them, including Desert Eye, but our favorite is the Wind Drinker because it underscores Abu Nuwas’ words cited above: He peels the skin of the earth with four feet. He runs so Swift! They do not touch the earth as he runs.