Travels In Arabia By  John Lewis Burckhardt

























































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The inhabitants of Mekka have but two kinds of employment, - trade, and
the service of the Beitullah, or Temple; but - Page 260
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The Inhabitants Of Mekka Have But Two Kinds Of Employment, - Trade, And The Service Of The Beitullah, Or Temple; But

The former has the preference, and there are very few olemas, or persons employed in the mosque, who are not

Engaged in some commercial affairs, though they are too proud to pursue them openly. The reader has probably remarked, in the foregoing description of Mekka, how few artisans inhabit its streets; such as masons, carpenters, tailors, shoemakers, smiths, &c., and these are far inferior, in skill, to the same class in Egypt. With the exception of a few potteries and dying-houses, the Mekkawys have not a single manufactory; but, like the people of Djidda, are dependent upon other countries for a supply of their wants. Mekka, therefore, has necessarily a considerable degree of foreign commerce, which is chiefly carried on, during the pilgrimage, and some months preceding it, by the wealthy hadjys, who bring from every Muselman country its native productions to Djidda, either by sea or across the Desert from Damascus, exchanging them amongst each other; or receiving from the merchants of Mekka the goods of India and Arabia, which the latter have accumulated the whole year in

[p.188] their warehouses. At this period, Mekka becomes one of the largest fairs of the East, and certainly the most interesting, from the variety of nations which frequent it. The value of the exports from Mekka is, however, greatly superior to that of the imports, and a considerable sum of money, in dollars and sequins, required to balance them.

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