High Mountains With Sharp-Pointed Summits, And Entirely Barren,
Enclosed The Road On Both Sides.
The Eastern mountain, which here runs
parallel with it, is called Djebel Sobh; the territory of the powerful
tribe of Beni Sobh, a branch of the Beni Harb.
Their mountains contain
many fertile valleys, where date-trees grow, and some dhourra is sown.
It is here that the Mekka balsam-tree is principally found, and the
Senna Mekka, or Arabian
[p.306] senna, which the Syrian caravan exports, is collected
exclusively in this district. The passage into the interior parts of
this mountain is described as very difficult, and could never be forced
by the Wahabys. Numerous families of the other tribes of Harb had
retreated thither, with all their goods and cattle, from the arms of
Saoud; and while all the Hedjaz Bedouins submitted to the Wahaby
dominion, the Sobh was the only tribe which successfully defended their
territory, and boldly asserted their independence.
After a march of six hours and a half, the road began to ascend among
low rocky hills. At seven hours and a half we entered Wady Zogag, a
narrow valley of gentle ascent, full of loose stones, and overgrown with
acacia-trees. In proceeding up, it grew narrower, the path became
steeper, and more difficult for the camels. At the end of thirteen
hours, we came to level ground at its top, and there entered the valley
of Es' Szafra, close by the village of the same name, at which we
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