Long, Almond-Shaped, Half Shut, And Languishing, And Turned Up At The
Outer Corner, As If Habitually Fatigued By The Light And Heat Of The
Sun; Cheeks Round, &C.," (Voyage En Egypt).
The learned Frenchman's
description of the ancient Egyptians applies in most points to the Turi
[FN#11] "And he" (Ishmael) "dwelt in the wilderness of Paran," (Wady
Firan?) "and his mother took him a wife, out of the land of Egypt,"
Xxi. 21). I wonder that some geographers have attempted to
identify Massa, the son of Ishmael, (Gen. xxv. 14), with Meccah, when
in verse 18 of the same chapter we read, "And they" (the twelve
princes, sons of Ishmael) "dwelt from Havilah unto Shur." This asserts,
as clearly as language can, that the posterity of, or the race typified
by, Ishmael,-the Syro-Egyptian,-occupied only the northern parts of the
peninsula. Their habitat is not even included in Arabia by those
writers who bound the country on the north by an imaginary line drawn
from Ras Mohammed to the mouths of the Euphrates. The late Dr. J.
Wilson ("Lands of the Bible"), repeated by Eliot Warburton ("Crescent
and Cross"), lays stress upon the Tawarah tradition, that they are Benu
Isra'il converted to Al-Islam, considering it a fulfilment of the
prophecy, "that a remnant of Israel shall dwell in Edom." With due
deference to so illustrious an Orientalist and Biblical scholar as was
Dr. Wilson, I believe that most modern Moslems, being ignorant that
Jacob was the first called "prince with God," apply the term
Benu-Isra'il to all the posterity of Abraham, not to Jews only.
[FN#12] In 1879 the Gates of Suez are a thing of the past; and it is
not easy to find where they formerly stood.
[FN#13] In the mouth of a Turk, no epithet is more contemptuous than
that of "Fellah ibn Fellah,"-"boor, son of a boor!" The Osmanlis have,
as usual, a semi-religious tradition to account for the superiority of
their nation over the Egyptians.
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