The Sherif Is Supposed To Have Under His Jurisdiction All The Bedouin
Tribes Of The Hedjaz; At Least They Are Named In His Own And The Porte's
Registers, As The Dutiful Subjects Of The Sultan And Of The Sherif.
in the full enjoyment of his power, Ghaleb possessed a considerable
influence over these tribes, but without any direct authority.
looked upon the Sherif, with his soldiers and friends, in the same light
as one of their own Sheikhs, with his adherents; and all the laws of war
current in the Desert, were strictly observed by the Sherif. In his late
expeditions against the Wahabys, he was accompanied by six or eight
thousand Bedouins, who joined him, as they would have joined another
Sheikh, without receiving any regular pay
[p.228] for their services, but following their own chiefs, whose
interest and attachment Ghaleb purchased by presents.
To those who are unacquainted with the politics of the Desert, the
government of Mekka will present some singularities; but every thing is
easily explained, if the Sherif be considered as a Bedouin chief, whom
wealth and power have led to assume arbitrary sway; who has adopted the
exterior form of an Osmanly governor, but who strictly adheres to all
the ancient usages of his nation. In former times, the heads of the
Sherif families at Mekka exercised the same influence as the fathers of
families in the Bedouin encampments; the authority of the great chief
afterwards prevailed, and the others were obliged to submit; but they
still retain, in many cases, the rights of their forefathers.
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