Travels In Arabia By  John Lewis Burckhardt

























































 -  In former times, this title of Khadem
appears to have been of more importance than it is now; for I - Page 210
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In Former Times, This Title Of Khadem Appears To Have Been Of More Importance Than It Is Now; For I Find, In The Historians Of Mekka, Many Great People Mentioned, Who Annexed It To Their Names.

After the return of the Hadj from Muna, the principal street of Mekka becomes almost impassable from the crowds assembled there.

The Syrian hadjy merchants hire shops, and make the best use of the short time which is granted to them for their commercial transactions. Every body purchases provisions for his journey home; and the pursuit of gain now engrosses all minds, from the highest to the lowest. The two caravans usually leave Mekka about the 23d of Zul Hadj, after ten days' stay in the town. Sometimes the leaders of them are prevailed upon by the merchants, who pay highly for the favour, to grant a respite of a few days; but this year they did not require it, as the caravan was detained by Mohammed Aly, who, preparing to open his campaign against the Wahabys, thought proper to employ about twelve thousand camels of the Syrian Hadj in two journies to Djidda, and one to Tayf, for the transport of provisions. As to the Egyptian caravan, which, as I have already mentioned, contained no private hadjys, it was wholly detained by Mohammed Aly, who ordered all

[p.286] the horsemen and camels that had accompanied it, to assist him in his campaign. The Mahmal, or sacred camel, was sent back by sea to Suez, a circumstance which had never before occurred. The Syrian caravan did not leave Mekka till the 29th of Zul Hadj; and the incessant labour to which its camels had been subjected, weakened them so much, that numbers of them died on their return through the Desert. The caravans of unloaded camels which were hourly leaving Mekka for Djidda, to take up provisions there, facilitated the short journey to that place of those hadjys who wished to return home by sea.

Having heard that the supply of money for which I had written to Cairo on my first reaching Djidda, had been received there, I rode over in the night of the 1st of December, and remained in that town six or seven days. The hadjys who had, in the mean while, daily flocked into it on their return from Mekka, were seen encamped in every quarter, and thus it soon became as crowded as Mekka had just been. Among the ships in the harbour, ready to take hadjy passengers on board, was a merchant-vessel lately arrived from Bombay, belonging to a Persian house at that presidency, and commanded by an English captain, who had beat up to Djidda against the trade-winds, at this late season. I passed many agreeable hours in the company of Captain Boag, on board his ship, and regretted that my pursuits should call me away so soon. Two other Europeans had arrived at Djidda about the same time, by way of Cairo; the one an Englishman, who was going to India; the other a German physician.

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