In Egypt, The Ratl Is 144 Dirhams Or 12 Wukkiyahs,-About 1 Lb.
And 8 dwts.
[FN#8] "Necklace of Syria." I was told they derive this name from the
place where they are made. "Al-Safra" (on the Meccah road) being also
called Al-Sham (Damascus).
[FN#9] This is a translation of the Arab word "Tazkir," which is
certainly more appropriate than our "caprification" applied to dates.
[FN#10] The male tree is known by its sterility. In some countries only
the fecundating pollen is scattered over the female flower, and this
doubtless must have been Nature's method of impregnating the date.
[FN#11] The resemblance is probably produced by the similarity of
treatment. At Al-Madinah, as in Italy, the vine is "married" to some
tall tree, which, selfish as a husband, appropriates to itself the best
of everything,-sun, breeze, and rain.
[FN#12] This thorn (the Rhamnus Nabeca, or Zizyphus Spina Christi) is
supposed to be that which crowned the Saviour's head. There are Mimosas
in Syria; but no tree, save the fabled Zakhum, could produce the
terrible apparatus with which certain French painters of the modern
school have attempted to heighten the terrors of the scene.
[FN#13] For what reason I am entirely unable to guess, our dictionaries
translate the word Sidr (the literary name of the tree that bears the
Nebek) "Lote-tree." No wonder that believers in "Homeric writ" feel
their anger aroused by so poor a realisation of the beautiful myth.
[FN#14] The only pears in Al-Hijaz, I believe, are to be found at Taif,
to which place they were transplanted from Egypt.
[FN#15] Travellers always remark the curious pot-bellied children on
the banks of the Nile.
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