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Description: The Awassi, the most common breed of sheep in the Middle East, is a fat-tailed multi-purpose breed used for meat, milk and wool. Rams are horned, but ewes usually are polled. Their head and legs are usually white to brown, sometimes including black multi-coloring. The Awassi evolved over centuries for hardiness, disease resistance and ability to survive in hot and dry environments typical of much of the Middle East. Recently, they have been selected for milk production. The fleece usually is used for carpet. This ewe and lamb are typical of the Awasii in the Middle East, and the background in this photo typifies the harsh environment the breed has adapted to. NAL #5164 and #5166 also illustrate Awassi sheep, and the Image Gallery home page shows a link to Breeds of Livestock including Awassi sheep.