Travels In Syria And The Holy Land By John Lewis Burckhardt


























































 -  The Szowaleha and Aleygat, however, did
not agree, and had frequent disputes among themselves. At that period
there arrived at - Page 710
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The Szowaleha And Aleygat, However, Did Not Agree, And Had Frequent Disputes Among Themselves.

At that period there arrived at Sherm four families of the Mezeine, a very potent tribe in the Hedjaz, east of Medina, where they are still found in large numbers, forming part of the great tribe of Beni Harb.

They were flying from the effects of blood-revenge, and wishing to settle here, they applied to the Szowaleha, begging to be permitted to join them in their pastures. The Szowaleha consented, on condition of their paying a yearly tribute in sheep, in the same manner as the despised tribe of Heteym, on the opposite coast of the gulf of Akaba, does to all the surrounding Arabs. [Arabic]. The high spirited Mezeine however rejected the offer, as derogatory to their free born condition, and addressed themselves to the Aleygat, who readily admitted them to their brotherhood and all their pastures. Long and obstinate wars between the Szowaleha and Aleygat were the consequence of this compact. The two tribes fought, it is said, for forty years; and in the greatest and the last battle, which took place in Wady Barak, the Mezeine decided the contest in favour of the Aleygat. “So

[p.560] great,” says the Bedouin tradition, “was the number of the Szowaleha killed in this engagement, that the nails of the slain were seen for many years after, the sport of the winds in the valleys around the field of battle.”[No nation equals the Bedouins in numerical exaggeration.

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