Travels In Syria And The Holy Land By John Lewis Burckhardt


























































 -  The Bedouins are particularly dexterous in pilfering; at night
they sometimes assume the

[p.245]dress of the Pasha's infantry - Page 311
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The Bedouins Are Particularly Dexterous In Pilfering; At Night They Sometimes Assume The

[P.245]dress of the Pasha's infantry, and thus introduce themselves unnoticed amongst the camels of the rich Hadjis, when they throw the sleeping owner from his mule or camel, and in the confusion occasioned by the cries of the fallen rider, drive off the beast.

The caravan marches daily from Asser, or about three hours after mid- day, during the whole of the night, and till the followingmorning, when the tents are pitched. It never stops but during prayers. The Arabs of Sokhne, Tedmor, and Haouran, together with the Bedouins who let out their camels, precede or follow the caravan at the distance of one day's march. They transport the provisions for the Pasha's troops, of which they steal, and publicly sell at least two-thirds. They march during the day, and encamp in the evening. Their caravan is called El Selma [Arabic]. It passes the great caravan once every two or three days, and then encamps till the latter comes up, when they supply the Pasha's suite with provisions. The cheapest mode of performing the pilgrimage is to agree for a camel with one of those Arabs; but the fatigue is much greater in following the Selma.

The last year in which the Hadj quitted Damascus, the pilgrims reached the gates of Medina, but they were not permitted to enter the town, nor to proceed to Mekka; and after an unsuccessful negotiation of seven days, they were obliged to return to Damascus.

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