Travels In Arabia By  John Lewis Burckhardt

























































 -  The people of Tehama are
poor, those excepted who engage in trade; for the country has few
fertile spots, and - Page 640
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The People Of Tehama Are Poor, Those Excepted Who Engage In Trade; For The Country Has Few Fertile Spots, And Less Pasturage Than The Mountains, Where Rain Falls More Abundantly.

In the lower Tehama there are sometimes, during a whole year, but three or four days of rain.

The Tehama Bedouins south of Mekka had mostly retired up into the mountains, when Mohammed Aly invaded the Hedjaz, not from dread of the Turks, but because, in such an unsettled state of affairs, weak tribes were not secure, in the open country, from being surprised by straggling Bedouins from the more powerful hostile tribes, who during the power of the Wahabys did not venture to show their enmity, and now impatiently broke loose. Among the Bedouins of Tehama are many tribes of the Beni Heteym, a tribe more widely spread than any other in Arabia.

The Great Desert, east of Beishe and Wady Dowaser, and south of the province of Nedjed, extending eastwards to the frontiers of Oman, is called by the Bedouins Roba el Khaly, "the empty or deserted abode." In summer it is wholly deserted, being without any wells. In winter, after rains, when the sands produce herbage, all the great tribes of the Nedjed, Hedjaz and Yemen pasture their flocks in the parts of this desert bordering respectively on their own countries. The sandy soil is much frequented by ostriches, which

[p.455] are killed by the Dowaser Arabs. Several Bedouins assured me, that in the Roba el Khaly there are many parts which have never yet been explored; because towards the east it does not, even in winter time, afford the slightest vegetation.

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