BedouinPeople.com

الشعب بدو

A Website dedicated to Media and Info about the Bedouin people of Arabia and North Africa.

In modern Arabia, the air conditioned home with electricity and broadband internet has replaced the Tent, and the Truck or SUV has replaced the Camel, but many people still rever their Bedouin roots, often taking weekend journeys into the Desert to relive the life.

Sources for Images are cited when available. All the images on this website came from internet searches with most coming from Wikipedia or Google Images

 


A Bedouin Man in the United Arab Emirates with Camel
and Falcon, and wearing a Janbiya at his waist.
(Wikipedia)

Janbiya جنبية

The Janbiya is the curved ceremonial dagger often worn at the waist by Men in Arabia, especially in Yemen, children do not wear them, exquisite craftsmanship goes into their making, often dependent on the wealth of the bearer, with wealthier Men having Janbiya with handles made of exotic materials.

Janbiya often come with elaborate silver work, like the one on the Bedouin man in the photo, and also may have embedded precious stones on the handle and sheath. Janbiya are never to come out of their sheath except in the most dire of situations, or during special ceremonies, unsheathing the Janbiya without just cause is considered to be a defamation of all present.

Saker Falcon الصقر الحر

The Saker Falcon makes its winter home in Arabia, and is the traditional falcon used by the Bedouin for hunting small game, which is still practiced in Arabia today. The Saker is a large falcon that is easily tamed. The call of the Saker Falcon is a sharp Ki-Yee. The Saker Falcon is a raptor of open grasslands preferably with some trees or cliffs. It often hunts by horizontal pursuit, rather than the Peregrine Falcon's stoop from a height, and feeds mainly on rodents and other birds.

Camel جمل

The Camel is a sturdy and strong animal adapted to life in the Desert. Able to go for long periods with little water and having feet adapted to walking in the soft sands of the Desert. It goes without saying that the Camel enabled the Bedouin's ability to live in the Desert. Usually only female Camels are used for riding, with males often having a temperemental attitude not compatible with being a riding animal. Traditionally, Bedouin would mount raids against other tribes, called Ghazu ز ح ض ش, seeking to plunder Camels, Camels lost in a raid and recovered in a counter raid are referred to as Araif, وص لط و. Raiding for Camels was almost a recreational activity to the Bedouin, and was very different from War, known as Harb حرب. While the age of Raiding for Camels may be long gone, Camel husbandry and racing is still practiced widely in modern Arabia.

Prizes handed out during Camel Beauty Pageant in Saudi Arabia (Arab News)

Camel Beauties head to the Al Dhafra Festival in the United Arab Emirates (Khaleej Times)

Notes on the Desert صحراء

When people think of Arabia they often think endless sand with nothing growing, but in truth the Deserts in Arabia can be quite green after winter rains. There is one part of Arabia that does meet the stereotype, however, the Rub Al Khali, or Empty Quarter, صحراء الربع الخالي which is the largest sand desert in the world.

Rub Al Khali Wikipedia Page

International Desert Festival in Hail, Saudi Arabia (Arab News)

Tribes of Arabia القبائل العربية

In Arabia today there are modern governments and states, with many people moving to new locations for jobs and careers and marriage, but regardless of this many people in Arabia still have strong loyalties and devotion to their particular Tribe, Tribal Groups that are often hundreds of years old.

Al Otaibi (Otaibah) العتيبي

Probably the largest Arabian tribe of them all, members of the Al Otaibi can be found throughout Arabia. Initially many of them were Bedouin, however, over time significant numbers of them started living in cities and towns and also started serving important roles in government, diplomacy, and business.

CLICK HERE for more info on this tribe.

Bedouin in Crises - Bedouin of the Negev Desert النقب

Many Bedouin left the area of the Negev Desert during the Nakba النكبة of 1948, often forcibly and against their wishes at the hands of the Israeli Army, but some remained and continue to live in the Negev Desert of Today. Some information about these Bedouin is on this website, including a partial list of human rights abuses committed against them by the State of Israel.

CLICK HERE for more info on these Bedouin.

Bedouin Entrepreneurs - Bedouin of the Wadi Rum وادي رم

Bedouin have lived in the region of the Wadi Rum in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for hundreds of years, observing their traditional life of herding Camel and Goats and living in their comfortable tents. But now in modern times a new kind of Bedouin live in this region, Bedouin Entrepreneurs providing Eco-Tours and Camp Sites for visiting tourists, taking visitors on tours of the interesting rock formations of the Wadi Rum, and letting their visitors live the traditional life of the Bedouin with Camel Riding and Bedouin food.

CLICK HERE for more info on these Bedouin.