Travels In Arabia By  John Lewis Burckhardt

























































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The character of the Mekkawy resembles, in this respect, that of the
Bedouin; and did not greediness of gain often - Page 280
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The Character Of The Mekkawy Resembles, In This Respect, That Of The Bedouin; And Did Not Greediness Of Gain Often Distort Their Features, The Smile Of Mirth Would Always Be On Their Lips.

In the streets and bazars, in the house, and even in the mosque, the Mekkawy loves to laugh and joke.

In dealing with each other, or in talking on grave subjects, a proverb, a pun, or some witty allusion, is often introduced, and produces laughter. As the Mekkawys possess, with this vivacity of temper, much intellect, sagacity, and great suavity of manners, which they well know how to reconcile with their innate pride, their conversation is very agreeable; and whoever cultivates a mere superficial acquaintance with them, seldom fails to be delighted with their character. They are more polite towards each other, as well as towards strangers, than the inhabitants of Syria and Egypt, and retain something of the good-natured disposition of the Bedouins, from whom they derive their origin. When they accost each other in

[p.201] the streets for the first time in the course of the day, the young man kisses the elder's hand, or the inferior that of his superior in rank, while the latter returns the salute by a kiss upon the forehead. Individuals of equal rank and age, not of the first class, mutually kiss each other's hands. [In shaking hands, the people of the Hedjaz lay hold of each other's thumbs with the whole hand, pressing it, and again opening the hand three or four times.

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