Travels In Arabia By  John Lewis Burckhardt

























































 -  These people furnish Medina with fire-
wood, which they collect in the neighbouring mountains, and sell to
great advantage. If - Page 540
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These People Furnish Medina With Fire- Wood, Which They Collect In The Neighbouring Mountains, And Sell To Great Advantage.

If none, or only few of them, happen to be at Medina, no wood can be got even for money.

They likewise serve as carriers or porters; and such of them as are not strong enough for hard work, make small mats and baskets of date-leaves. They usually live together in some of the huts of the public place called El Menakh, and remain till they have earned money enough for their journey home. Very few of them are beggars; of forty or fifty whom I saw here, only two or three resorted to mendicity, being unfit for any other vocation. In general beggars are much less numerous at Medina than at Mekka; and most of the foreign beggars, as at Mekka, are Indians. Few hadjys come here without either bringing the necessary funds, or being certain of gaining their livelihood by labour, the distance of Medina from the sea being much

[p.383] greater than that of Mekka, and the road through the Desert being dreaded by absolute paupers. It may be calculated that only one- third of the pilgrims who visit Mekka go also to Medina. The Egyptian caravan of pilgrims seldom passes by the town. [Whenever the Egyptian caravan passes by Medina, it is always on its return from Mekka, and then remains, like the Syrian, for three days only. In going from Cairo to Mekka, this caravan never visits Medina.] Medina has pilgrims during the whole year, there being no prescribed season for visiting the tomb; and they usually stay here about a fortnight or a month.

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