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The Bedouin
Bedouin
(/ˈbɛdu.ɪn/;[10] Arabic: بَدَوِي badawī) is a grouping of nomadic Arab peoples who have historically inhabited the desert regions in North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, and the Levant.[11] The English word bedouin comes from the Arabic
Arabic
badawī, which means "desert dweller" and is traditionally contrasted with ḥāḍir, the term for sedentary people.[12] Bedouin
Bedouin
territory stretches from the vast deserts of North Africa
North Africa
to the rocky sands of the Middle East.[13] They are traditionally divided into tribes, or clans (known in Arabic
Arabic
as ʿašāʾir; عَشَائِر) and share a common culture of herding camels and goats.[13] Bedouins
Bedouins
have been referred to by various names throughout history, including Qedarites
Qedarites
in the Old Testament and Arabaa by the Assyrians (ar-ba-a-a being a nisba of the noun Arab, a name still used for Bedouins
Bedouins
today). They are referred to as the ʾAʿrāb (أعراب) in the Quran.

A Bedouin
Bedouin
girl in Nuweiba - Egypt
Egypt
2015

While many Bedouins
Bedouins
have abandoned their nomadic and tribal traditions for a modern urban lifestyle, many retain traditional Bedouin
Bedouin
culture such as retaining the traditional ʿašāʾir clan structure, traditional music, poetry, dances (such as "saas"), and many other cultural practices and concepts.[citation needed] Urbanised
Urbanised
Bedouins often organize cultural festivals, usually held several times a year, in which they gather with other Bedouins
Bedouins
to partake in, and learn about, various Bedouin
Bedouin
traditions—from poetry recitation and traditional sword dances, playing traditional instruments, and even classes teaching traditional tent knitting. Traditions like camel riding and camping in the deserts are still popular leisure activities for urbanised Bedouins
Bedouins
who live within close proximity to deserts or other wilderness areas.[citation needed]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Society 3 Traditions

3.1 Herding 3.2 Oral poetry 3.3 Raiding or ghazzu

4 History

4.1 Early history 4.2 Ottoman period 4.3 In the 20th century

5 In different countries

5.1 Arabian Peninsula

5.1.1 Saudi Arabia

5.2 Levant

5.2.1 Syria 5.2.2 Israel 5.2.3 Jordan

5.3 North Africa

5.3.1 Maghreb 5.3.2 Egypt

6 Tribes and populations 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 Further reading

Etymology[edit] The term "Bedouin" derives from the singular form of the Arabic
Arabic
word badu (بدو), which literally means "Badiyah dwellers" in Arabic.[14] The word bādiyah (بَادِية) means visible land, in the sense of "plain" or "desert".[15] The term "Bedouin" therefore means "those in bādiyah" or "those in the desert". In English usage, however, the form "Bedouin" is commonly used for the singular term, the plural being "Bedouins", as indicated by the Oxford English Dictionary, second edition. The term "Bedouin" also uses the same root word as the Arabic
Arabic
noun for "the beginning"; "بداية"; "Bedaya." Most Arabs
Arabs
believe the Bedouins
Bedouins
to be the predecessors to settled Arabs, including the Nabataeans Arabs
Arabs
of the more westerly Levant
Levant
region. According to a hadith, Caliph Umar
Umar
ibn al-Khattab said of the Bedouin, "[T]hey are the origin of the Arabs
Arabs
and the substance of Islam."[16][17] and the word for the ethnicity itself may be influenced by that.[18] Society[edit] A widely quoted Bedouin
Bedouin
apothegm is "I am against my brother, my brother and I are against my cousin, my cousin and I are against the stranger"[19] sometimes quoted as "I and my brother are against my cousin, I and my cousin are against the stranger."[20] This saying signifies a hierarchy of loyalties based on the proximity of male kinship, beginning with the nuclear family through the lineage and then the paternal tribe, and, in principle at least, to an entire genetic or linguistic group (which is perceived to akin to kinship in the Middle East
Middle East
and North Africa
North Africa
generally). Disputes are settled, interests are pursued, and justice and order are dispensed and maintained by means of this framework, organized according to an ethic of self-help and collective responsibility (Andersen 14). The individual family unit (known as a tent or "gio"[clarification needed] bayt) typically consisted traditionally of three or four adults (a married couple plus siblings or parents) and any number of children.[citation needed] When resources were plentiful, several tents would travel together as a goum. While these groups were sometimes linked by patriarchal lineage, others were just as likely linked by marriage alliances (new wives were especially likely to have close male relatives join them). Sometimes, the association was based on acquaintance and familiarity, or even no clearly defined relation except for simple shared membership within a tribe.[citation needed] The next scale of interaction within groups was the ibn ʿamm (cousin, or literally "son of an uncle") or descent group, commonly of three to five generations. These were often linked to goums, but where a goum would generally consist of people all with the same herd type, descent groups were frequently split up over several economic activities, thus allowing a degree of 'risk management'; should one group of members of a descent group suffer economically, the other members of the descent group would be able to support them. Whilst the phrase "descent group" suggests purely a lineage-based arrangement, in reality these groups were fluid and adapted their genealogies to take in new members.[citation needed] The largest scale of tribal interactions is the tribe as a whole, led by a Sheikh
Sheikh
(Arabic: شيخ‎ šayḫ, literally, "old man"), though the title is refer to leaders in varying contexts. The tribe often claims descent from one common ancestor—as mentioned above. The tribal level is the level that mediated between the Bedouin
Bedouin
and the outside governments and organizations. Distinct structure of the Bedouin
Bedouin
society leads to long lasting rivalries between different clans.[citation needed] Bedouin
Bedouin
traditionally had strong honor codes, and traditional systems of justice dispensation in Bedouin
Bedouin
society typically revolved around such codes. The bisha'a, or ordeal by fire, is a well-known Bedouin practice of lie detection. See also: Honor codes of the Bedouin, Bedouin
Bedouin
systems of justice. Urbanized Bedouin
Bedouin
are less likely to continue such traditions, instead opting for the codes of behavior that govern the wider settled community to which they belong.[citation needed]

Weaving lengths of fabric for tent making using ground loom. Palestine, circa 1900

Traditions[edit] Herding[edit] Livestock
Livestock
and herding, principally of goats and dromedary camels comprised the traditional livelihoods of Bedouins. These two animals were used for meat, dairy products, and wool.[21] Most of the staple foods that made up the Bedouins' diet were dairy products.[21] Camels, in particular, had numerous cultural and functional uses. Having been regarded as a "gift from God", they were the main food source and method of transportation for many Bedouins.[22] In addition to their extraordinary milking potentials under harsh desert conditions, their meat was occasionally consumed by Bedouins.[23] As a cultural tradition, camel races were organized during celebratory occasions, such as weddings or religious festivals.[24] Oral poetry[edit] Oral poetry was the most popular art form among Bedouins. Having a poet in one's tribe was highly regarded in society. In addition to serving as a form of art, poetry was used as a means of conveying information and social control.[25] Raiding or ghazzu[edit] The well-regulated traditional habit of Bedouin
Bedouin
tribes of raiding other tribes, caravans, or settlements is known in Arabic
Arabic
as ghazzu.[26] History[edit] Early history[edit]

Murder of Ma'sum Beg, the envoy of the Safavid Shah Tahmasp, by Beduins in the Hejaz, 16th century

Historically, the Bedouin
Bedouin
engaged in nomadic herding, agriculture and sometimes fishing. A major source of income was the taxation of caravans, and tributes collected from non- Bedouin
Bedouin
settlements. They also earned income by transporting goods and people in caravans across the desert.[27] Scarcity of water and of permanent pastoral land required them to move constantly. The Moroccan traveller, Ibn Battuta, reported that in 1326 on the route to Gaza, the Egyptian authorities had a customs post at Qatya on the north coast of Sinai. Here Bedouin
Bedouin
were being used to guard the road and track down those trying to cross the border without permission.[28] The Early Medieval
Early Medieval
grammarians and scholars seeking to develop a system of standardizing the contemporary Classical Arabic
Arabic
for maximal intelligibility across the Arabophone areas, believed that the Bedouin spoke the purest, most conservative variety of the language. To solve irregularities of pronunciation, the Bedouin
Bedouin
were asked to recite certain poems, whereafter consensus was relied on to decide the pronunciation and spelling of a given word.[29] Ottoman period[edit]

Bedouin
Bedouin
woman, circa 1898–1914

A plunder and massacre of the Hajj
Hajj
caravan by Bedouin
Bedouin
tribesmen occurred in 1757, led by Qa'dan al-Fa'iz of the Bani Saqr tribe. An estimated 20,000 pilgrims were either killed in the raid or died of hunger or thirst as a result. Although Bedouin
Bedouin
raids on Hajj
Hajj
caravans were fairly common, the 1757 raid represented the peak of such attacks.[30][31][32][33][34] Under the Tanzimat
Tanzimat
reforms in 1858 a new Ottoman Land Law was issued, which offered legal grounds for the displacement of the Bedouin. As the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
gradually lost power, this law instituted an unprecedented land registration process that was also meant to boost the empire's tax base. Few Bedouin
Bedouin
opted to register their lands with the Ottoman Tapu, due to lack of enforcement by the Ottomans, illiteracy, refusal to pay taxes and lack of relevance of written documentation of ownership to the Bedouin
Bedouin
way of life at that time.[35] At the end of the 19th century Sultan Abdülhamid II
Abdülhamid II
settled Muslim populations (Circassians) from the Balkan
Balkan
and Caucasus
Caucasus
among areas predominantly populated by the nomads in the regions of modern Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine, and also created several permanent Bedouin
Bedouin
settlements, although the majority of them did not remain.[36] Ottoman authorities also initiated private acquisition of large plots of state land offered by the sultan to the absentee landowners (effendis). Numerous tenants were brought in order to cultivate the newly acquired lands. Often it came at the expense of the Bedouin lands.

Palestine Exploration Fund
Palestine Exploration Fund
list of Bedouin
Bedouin
tribes living West of the River Jordan
Jordan
in 1875.

In the late 19th century, many Bedouin
Bedouin
began transition to a semi-nomadic lifestyle. One of the factors was the influence of the Ottoman empire
Ottoman empire
authorities[37] who started a forced sedentarization of the Bedouin
Bedouin
living on its territory. The Ottoman authorities viewed the Bedouin
Bedouin
as a threat to the state's control and worked hard on establishing law and order in the Negev.[36] During World War I, the Negev
Negev
Bedouin
Bedouin
fought with the Turks against the British, but later, under T. E. Lawrence's assist, the Bedouins
Bedouins
switched side and fought the Turks. Hamad Pasha al-Sufi (died 1923), Sheikh
Sheikh
of the Nijmat sub-tribe of the Tarabin, led a force of 1,500 men who joined the Turkish offensive against the Suez Canal.[38] In Orientalist historiography, the Negev
Negev
Bedouin
Bedouin
have been described as remaining largely unaffected by changes in the outside world until recently. Their society was often considered a "world without time."[39] Recent scholars have challenged the notion of the Bedouin as 'fossilized,' or 'stagnant' reflections of an unchanging desert culture. Emanuel Marx has shown that Bedouin
Bedouin
were engaged in a constantly dynamic reciprocal relation with urban centers.[40] Bedouin scholar Michael Meeker explains that "the city was to be found in their midst."[41] In the 20th century[edit]

Bedouin
Bedouin
mothers carrying their children on their shoulders. Color photo taken in the late 19th century by the French photographer Félix Bonfils.

In the 1950s and 1960 large numbers of Bedouin
Bedouin
throughout Midwest Asia started to leave the traditional, nomadic life to settle in the cities of Midwest Asia, especially as hot ranges have shrunk and populations have grown. For example, in Syria, the Bedouin
Bedouin
way of life effectively ended during a severe drought from 1958 to 1961, which forced many Bedouin
Bedouin
to abandon herding for standard jobs.[42][43] Similarly, governmental policies in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia, oil-producing Arab states of the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
and Libya,[44][45] as well as a desire for improved standards of living, effectively led most Bedouin
Bedouin
to become settled citizens of various nations, rather than stateless nomadic herders. Governmental policies pressing the Bedouin
Bedouin
have in some cases been executed in an attempt to provide service (schools, health care, law enforcement and so on—see Chatty 1986 for examples), but in others have been based on the desire to seize land traditionally roved and controlled by the Bedouin. In recent years, some Bedouin
Bedouin
have adopted the pastime of raising and breeding white doves,[46] while others have rejuvenated the traditional practice of falconry.[47][48] In different countries[edit] Arabian Peninsula[edit] Saudi Arabia[edit]

Bedouin
Bedouin
man in Riyadh, 1964.

The Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
is the original home of the Bedouin. From here they started to spread out to surrounding deserts, forced out by the lack of water and food. According to tradition, the Saudi Bedouin
Bedouin
are descendants of two groups. One group, the Yemenis, settled in the Southwestern Arabia, in the mountains of Yemen, and claim they descend from a semi-legendary ancestral figure, Qahtan (or Joktan). The second group, the Qaysis, settled in North-Central Arabia and claimed they were descendants of the Biblical Ishmael.[49] A number of additional Bedouin
Bedouin
tribes reside in Saudi Arabia. Among them are the, Enazah, Bani Tameem,( Juhani) Jihnan ) Shammar, al-Murrah, Qara, Mahra, Harasis, Dawasir, Harb, Ghamid, Mutayr, Subaie, 'Utayba, Bani khalid, Qahtan, Rashaida, Ansar and Yam. In Arabia and the adjacent deserts there are around 100 large tribes of 1,000 members or more. Some tribes number up to 20,000 and a few of the larger tribes may have up to 100,000 members. Inside Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
the Bedouin
Bedouin
remained the majority of the population during the first half of the 20th century. However, due to change of lifestyle their number has decreased dramatically. Levant[edit] Syria[edit]

Syrian bedouin, 1893

Although the Arabian desert was the homeland of the Bedouin, some groups have migrated to the north. It was one of the first lands inhabited by the Bedouin
Bedouin
outside the Arabian desert.[50] Today there are over a million Bedouin
Bedouin
living in Syria, making a living herding sheep and goats.[51] The largest Bedouin
Bedouin
clan in Syria
Syria
is called Ruwallah who are part of the 'Anizzah' tribe. Another famous branch of the Anizzah tribe is the two distinct groups of Hasana and S'baa who largely arrived from the Arabian peninsula in the 18th century.[52] Herding
Herding
among the Bedouin
Bedouin
was common until the late 1950s, when it effectively ended during a severe drought from 1958 to 1961. Due to the drought, many Bedouin
Bedouin
were forced to give up herding for standard jobs.[53][better source needed] Another factor was the formal annulling of the Bedouin
Bedouin
tribes' legal status in Syrian law in 1958, along with attempts of the ruling Ba'ath Party
Ba'ath Party
regime to wipe out tribalism. Preferences for customary law (‘urf) in contrast to state law (qanun) have been informally acknowledged and tolerated by the state in order to avoid having its authority tested in the tribal territories.[54] In 1982 the al-Assad family turned to the Bedouin tribe leaders for assistance during the Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood
uprising against al-Assad government (see 1982 Hama massacre). The Bedouin sheikhs' decision to support Hafez al-Assad
Hafez al-Assad
led to a change in attitude on the part of the government that permitted the Bedouin leadership to manage and transform critical state development efforts supporting their own status, customs and leadership. As a result of the Syrian Civil War
Syrian Civil War
some Bedouins
Bedouins
became refugees and found shelter in Jordan,[55] Turkey, Lebanon, and other states. Israel[edit] Further information: Negev
Negev
Bedouin

Bedouin
Bedouin
squatter compound in the Naqab Desert

Rahat
Rahat
School

Hura
Hura
downtown

Prior to the 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence, an estimated 65,000–90,000 Bedouins
Bedouins
lived in the Negev
Negev
desert. According to Encyclopedia Judaica, 15,000 Bedouin
Bedouin
remained in the Negev
Negev
after 1948; other sources put the number as low as 11,000.[56] In 1999, 110,000 Bedouins
Bedouins
lived in the Negev, 50,000 in the Galilee and 10,000 in the central region of Israel.[57] All of the Bedouin
Bedouin
were granted Israeli citizenship in 1954.[58] The Bedouin
Bedouin
who remained in the Negev
Negev
belonged to the Tiaha confederation[59] as well as some smaller groups such as the 'Azazme and the Jahalin. After 1948, some Negev
Negev
Bedouins
Bedouins
were displaced. The Jahalin tribe, for instance, lived in the Tel Arad
Tel Arad
region of the Negev prior to the 1950s. In the early 1950s, the Jahalin were among the tribes that, according to Emmanuel Marks, "moved or were removed by the military government".[60] They ended up in the so-called E1 area East of Jerusalem. About 1,600 Bedouin
Bedouin
serve as volunteers in the Israel
Israel
Defense Forces, many as trackers in the IDF's elite tracking units.[61] Famously, Bedouin
Bedouin
shepherds were the first to discover the Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of Jewish texts from antiquity, in the Judean caves of Qumran
Qumran
in 1946. Of great religious, cultural, historical and linguistic significance, 972 texts were found over the following decade, many of which were discovered by Bedouins. Successive Israeli administrations tried to demolish Bedouins
Bedouins
villages in the Negev. Between 1967 and 1989, Israel
Israel
built seven legal townships in the north-east of the Negev, with Tel as-Sabi
Tel as-Sabi
or Tel Sheva the first. The largest, city of Rahat, has a population of over 58,700 (as of December 2013);[62] as such it is the largest Bedouin settlement in the world. Another well-known township out of the seven of them that the Israeli government built, is Hura. According to the Israel
Israel
Land Administration (2007), some 60 per cent of the Negev Bedouin
Bedouin
live in urban areas.[63] The rest live in so-called unrecognized villages, which are not officially recognized by the state due to general planning issues and other political reasons. They were built chaotically without taking into consideration local infrastructure. These communities are scattered all over the Northern Negev
Negev
and often are situated in inappropriate places, such as military fire zones, natural reserves, landfills, etc. On 29 September 2003, Israeli government adapted a new "Abu Basma Plan" (Resolution 881), according to which a new regional council was formed, unifying a number of unrecognized Bedouin
Bedouin
settlements—Abu Basma Regional Council.[64] This resolution also regarded the need to establish seven new Bedouin
Bedouin
settlements in the Negev,[65] literally meaning the official recognition of unrecognized settlements, providing them with a municipal status and consequently with all the basic services and infrastructure. The council was established by the Interior Ministry on 28 January 2004.[66] Israel
Israel
is currently building or enlarging some 13 towns and cities in the Negev. According to the general planning, all of them will be fully equipped with the relevant infrastructure: schools, medical clinics, postal offices, etc. and they also will have electricity, running water and waste control. Several new industrial zones meant to fight unemployment are planned, some are already being constructed, like Idan ha Negev
Negev
in the suburbs of Rahat.[67] It will have a hospital and a new campus inside.[68] The Bedouins
Bedouins
of Israel
Israel
receive free education and medical services from the state. They are allotted child cash benefits, which has contributed to the high birthrate among the Bedouin
Bedouin
(5% growth per year). But unemployment rate remains very high, and few obtain a high school degree (4%), and even fewer graduate from university (0.6%).[69] In September 2011, the Israeli government approved a five-year economic development plan called the Prawer plan.[70] One of its implications is a relocation of some 30.000-40.000 Negev
Negev
Bedouin
Bedouin
from areas not recognized by the government to government-approved townships.[71][72] In a 2012 resolution the European Parliament called for the withdrawal of the Prawer plan and respect for the rights of the Bedouin
Bedouin
people.[73] In September 2014, Yair Shamir, who heads the Israeli government's ministerial committee on Bedouin
Bedouin
resettlement arrangements, stated that the government was examining ways to lower the birthrate of the Bedouin
Bedouin
community in order to improve its standard of living. Shamir claimed that without intervention, the Bedouin
Bedouin
population could exceed half a million by 2035.[74][75] Jordan[edit]

A young Bedouin
Bedouin
lighting a camp fire in Wadi Rum, Jordan

Most of the Bedouin
Bedouin
tribes migrated from the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
to what is Jordan
Jordan
today between the 14th and 18th centuries.[76] Today Bedouins
Bedouins
make up from 33%[77] to 40%[78] of the population of Jordan. Often they are referred to as a backbone of the Kingdom,[77][79] since Bedouin
Bedouin
clans traditionally support the monarchy.[80] Most of Jordan's Bedouin
Bedouin
live in the vast wasteland that extends east from the Desert Highway.[81] The eastern Bedouin
Bedouin
are camel breeders and herders, while the western Bedouin
Bedouin
herd sheep and goats. Some Bedouin
Bedouin
in Jordan
Jordan
are semi-nomads, they adopt a nomadic existence during part of the year but return to their lands and homes in time to practice agriculture. The largest nomadic groups of Jordan
Jordan
are the Banū (Banī laith; they reside in Petra), baniṢakhr and Banū al-Ḥuwayṭāt (they reside in Wadi Rum.[citation needed] There are numerous lesser groups, such as the al-Sirḥān, Banū Khālid, Hawazim, ʿAṭiyyah, and Sharafāt. The Ruwālah (Rwala) tribe, which is not indigenous, passes through Jordan
Jordan
in its yearly wandering from Syria
Syria
to Saudi Arabia.[82] The Jordanian government provides the Bedouin
Bedouin
with different services such as education, housing and health clinics. However, some Bedouins give it up and prefer their traditional nomadic lifestyle. In the recent years there is a growing discontent of the Bedouin
Bedouin
with the ruling monarch, but the king manages to deal with it. In August 2007, police clashed with some 200 Bedouins
Bedouins
who were blocking the main highway between Amman and the port of Aqaba. Livestock
Livestock
herders, they were protesting the government's lack of support in the face of the steeply rising cost of animal feed, and expressed resentment about government assistance to refugees.[77] Arab Spring
Arab Spring
events in 2011 led to demonstrations in Jordan, and Bedouins
Bedouins
took part in them. But it is unlikely that the Hashemites
Hashemites
are to expect a revolt similar to turbulence in other Arab states. The main reasons for that are the high respect to the monarch, and contradictory interests of different groups of the Jordanian society. The King Abdullah II maintains his distance from the complaints by allowing blame to fall on government ministers, whom he replaces at will.[83] North Africa[edit] Maghreb[edit] In the 11th century, reigning over Ifriqiya, the Zirids
Zirids
somehow recognised the sovereignty of the caliph of Cairo. Probably in 1048, the ruler or viceroy Zirid, al-Mu'izz, decided to stop this sovereignty. The Fatimids
Fatimids
were then powerless to lead a punitive expedition.[citation needed] In the 11th century, the Bedouin
Bedouin
tribes of Banu Hilal
Banu Hilal
and Banu Sulaym, who originated from Syria
Syria
and North Arabia respectively,[84] living at the time in a desert between the Nile
Nile
and the Red Sea, moved westward into the Maghreb
Maghreb
areas and were joined by a third Bedouin
Bedouin
tribe of Maqil, which had its roots in South Arabia.[84] The vizier of the caliph of Cairo
Cairo
chose to let go of the Maghreb
Maghreb
and obtained the agreement of his sovereign. They set off with women, children, camping equipment, some stopping on the way, especially in Cyrenaica, where they are still one of the essential elements of the settlement, but most arrived in Ifriqiya
Ifriqiya
by the Gabes
Gabes
region; Berber armies were defeated in trying to protect the walls of Kairouan.[citation needed] The Zirids
Zirids
abandoned Kairouan
Kairouan
to take refuge on the coast where they survived for a century. Ifriqiya, the Banu Hilal
Banu Hilal
and Banu Sulaym spread is on the high plains of Constantine where they gradually choked the Qal'a of Banu Hammad, as they had done Kairouan
Kairouan
few decades ago. From there, they gradually gained the upper Algiers
Algiers
and Oran plains, some were taken to the Moulouya
Moulouya
valley and in Doukkala
Doukkala
plains by the Caliph of Marrakesh
Marrakesh
in the second half of the 12th century.[citation needed] In the 13th century, they lived in all the Maghreb
Maghreb
plains with the exception of the main mountain ranges and some coastal regions that served as refuges for the natives. They gave up their old trade breeder of camels to look after the care of the sheep and oxen.[citation needed] Ibn Khaldun, a Muslim
Muslim
historian writes: "Similar to an army of locusts, they destroy everything in their path."[85] The Bedouin
Bedouin
dialects are used in Maghrebi regions of Morocco
Morocco
Atlantic Coast, in regions of High Plains and Sahara
Sahara
in Algeria, in regions of Tunisian Sahel and in regions of Tripolitania. The Bedouin
Bedouin
dialects has four major varieties:[86][87]

Sulaym dialects, Libya
Libya
and southern Tunisia; Eastern Hilal dialects, central Tunisia
Tunisia
and eastern Algeria; Central Hilal dialects, south and central Algeria, especially in border areas of Sahara; Maqil dialects, western Algeria
Algeria
and Morocco;

In Morocco, Bedouin
Bedouin
dialects are spoken in plains and in recently founded cities such as Casablanca. Thus, the dialect shares with the Bedouin
Bedouin
dialects gal 'to say' (qala), they also represent the bulk of modern Urban dialects (Koinés), such as those of Oran
Oran
and Algiers.[88] Egypt[edit] Bedouins
Bedouins
in Egypt
Egypt
mostly reside in the Sinai
Sinai
peninsula and in the suburbs of the Egyptian capital of Cairo.[89] The past few decades have been difficult for traditional Bedouin
Bedouin
culture due to changing surroundings and the establishment of new resort towns on the Red Sea coast, such as Sharm el-Sheikh. Bedouins
Bedouins
in Egypt
Egypt
are facing a number of challenges: erosion of traditional values, unemployment, and various land issues. With urbanization and new education opportunities, Bedouins
Bedouins
started to marry outside their tribe, a practice that once was completely inappropriate.[89] Bedouins
Bedouins
living in the Sinai
Sinai
peninsula did not benefit much from employment in the initial construction boom due to low wages offered. Sudanese and Egyptians workers were brought here as construction laborers instead. When the tourist industry started to bloom, local Bedouins
Bedouins
increasingly moved into new service positions such as cab drivers, tour guides, campgrounds or cafe managers. However, the competition is very high, and many Sinai
Sinai
Bedouins
Bedouins
are unemployed. Since there are not enough employment opportunities, Tarabin Bedouins as well as other Bedouin
Bedouin
tribes living along the border between Egypt and Israel
Israel
are involved in inter-border smuggling of drugs and weapons,[89] as well as infiltration of prostitutes and African labor workers. In most countries in the Middle East
Middle East
the Bedouin
Bedouin
have no land rights, only users' privileges,[90] and it is especially true for Egypt. Since the mid-1980s, the Bedouins
Bedouins
who held desirable coastal property have lost control of much of their land as it was sold by the Egyptian government to hotel operators. The Egyptian government did not see the land as belonging to Bedouin
Bedouin
tribes, but rather as a state property. In the summer of 1999, the latest dispossession of land took place when the army bulldozed Bedouin-run tourist campgrounds north of Nuweiba as part of the final phase of hotel development in the sector, overseen by the Tourist Development Agency (TDA). The director of the Tourist Development Agency dismissed Bedouin
Bedouin
rights to most of the land, saying that they had not lived on the coast prior to 1982. Their traditional semi-nomadic culture has left Bedouins
Bedouins
vulnerable to such claims.[91] The Egyptian Revolution of 2011
Egyptian Revolution of 2011
brought more freedom to the Sinai Bedouin, but since it was deeply involved in weapon smuggling into Gaza after a number of terror attacks on the Egypt- Israel
Israel
border a new Egyptian government has started a military operation in Sinai
Sinai
in the summer-fall of 2012. Egyptian army has demolished over 120 underground tunnels leading from Egypt
Egypt
to Gaza that were used as smuggling channels and gave profit to the Bedouin
Bedouin
families on the Egyptian side, as well as the Palestinian clans on the other side of the border. Thus the army has delivered a threatening message to local Bedouin, compelling them to cooperate with state troops and officials. After negotiations the military campaign ended up with a new agreement between the Bedouin
Bedouin
and Egyptian authorities.[92] Tribes and populations[edit]

Map of the Bedouin
Bedouin
tribes in 1908

There are a number of Bedouin
Bedouin
tribes, but the total population is often difficult to determine, especially as many Bedouin
Bedouin
have ceased to lead nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyles. Below is a partial list of Bedouin
Bedouin
tribes and their historic place of origin.

Bedouin
Bedouin
shepherd in Syrian Desert

The Harb tribe
Harb tribe
is a tribe in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
and Yemen
Yemen
on the Arabian Peninsula. Banu Hilal,[93] some tribes of this confederation are Bedouin, they live in western Morocco, central Algeria, southern Tunisia
Tunisia
and Eastern Desert and others steppe of the region. Banu Sulaym,[93] Big tribes, the Sulaym in the east ( Libya
Libya
and southern Tunisia),[94] present in Libya, Tunisia, Algeria
Algeria
and Syria.[94][95] `Anizzah, some tribes of this confederation are Bedouin, they live in Northern Saudi Arabia, Western Iraq, the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
states, Syrian steppe and in Bekaa. 'Azazme, Negev
Negev
desert and Egypt. Beni Hamida, east of Dead Sea, Jordan. Bani Tameem in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar, Jordan, Palestinian Territories Syria
Syria
and Lebanon. Banu Yam centered in Najran Province, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
and Iraq Beni Sakhr
Beni Sakhr
in Egypt
Egypt
Iraq, Syria
Syria
and Jordan. Dulaim, a very large and powerful tribe in Al Anbar, Western Iraq. al-Duwasir, south of Riyadh. Ghamid, large tribe from Al-Bahah Province, Saudi Arabia, mostly settled, but with a small Bedouin
Bedouin
section known as Badiyat Ghamid. al-Hadid, large Bedouin
Bedouin
tribe found in Iraq, Syria
Syria
and Jordan. Now mostly are settled in cities such as Haditha in Iraq, Homs & Hama in Syria, and Amman in Jordan. al-Howeitat, one of the largest tribes in Jordan
Jordan
(al-Hesa). al-Jaloudi (al-Jaludi) of al-Harb ("Goliath's Tribe" of "War Tribe"), one of the largest tribes in the Arabian Peninsula, mostly settled in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Syria
Syria
and Iraq. The tribe has deep roots in the Umayyad and Abbassid dynasties. al-Khassawneh, one of the largest tribes in Northern Irbid
Irbid
Jordan
Jordan
and well known for the long history dominating the North. Bani Khalid one of the Bedouin
Bedouin
tribes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt
Egypt
and Syria. al-Majali South Jordan
Jordan
Majalis have long dominated Karak Bedouin society, Strongest tribe in Karak, one of the largest political power in Jordan al-Mawasi, a group living on the central Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
coast. Muzziena tribe in Dahab
Dahab
and South Sinai
Sinai
(Egypt). Shahran (al-Ariydhah), a very large tribe residing in the area between Bisha, Khamis Mushait and Abha. Al-Arydhah 'wide' is a famous name for Shahran because it has a very large area, in Saudi Arabia. Shammar, a very large and influential tribe in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Jordan. Descended from the ancient tribe of Tayy from Najd. Subay', central Nejd. Tarabin—one of the largest tribes in Egypt
Egypt
(Sinai) and Israel (Negev). Tuba-Zangariyye, Israel
Israel
near the Jordan
Jordan
river cliff in the Eastern Galilee.

See also[edit]

Arab (etymology) Arabians Ardha Bedawi Arabic Bedouin
Bedouin
music Ghinnawa Qedarites Sedentism Tribes of Arabia

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

Asher, Michael Last of the Bedu Penguin Books 1996 Brous, Devorah. "The 'Uprooting:' Education Void of Indigenous 'Location-Specific' Knowledge, Among Negev
Negev
Bedouin
Bedouin
Arabs
Arabs
in Southern Israel". International Perspectives on Indigenous Education. (Ben Gurion University 2004) Chatty, D Mobile Pastoralists 1996. Broad introduction to the topic, specific focus on women's issues. Chatty, Dawn. From Camel to Truck. The Bedouin
Bedouin
in the Modern World. New York: Vantage Press. 1986 Cole, Donald P. "Where have the Bedouin
Bedouin
gone?" Anthropological Quarterly. Washington: Spring 2003.Vol.76, Iss. 2; pg. 235 Falah, Ghazi. "Israeli State Policy Towards Bedouin
Bedouin
Sedentarization
Sedentarization
in the Negev", Journal of Palestine Studies, 1989 Vol. XVIII, No. 2, pp. 71–91 Falah, Ghazi. "The Spatial Pattern of Bedouin
Bedouin
Sedentarization
Sedentarization
in Israel", GeoJournal, 1985 Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 361–368. Gardner, Andrew. "The Political Ecology of Bedouin
Bedouin
Nomadism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia". In Political Ecology Across Spaces, Scales and Social Groups, Lisa Gezon and Susan Paulson, eds. Rutgers: Rutgers University Press. Gardner, Andrew. "The New Calculus of Bedouin
Bedouin
Pastoral Nomadism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia". Human Organization 62 (3): 267–276. Gardner, Andrew and Timothy Finan. "Navigating Modernization: Bedouin Pastoralism and Climate Information in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia". MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East
Middle East
Studies 4 (Spring): 59–72. Gardner, Ann. "At Home in South Sinai." Nomadic Peoples 2000.Vol.4, Iss. 2; pp. 48–67. Detailed account of Bedouin
Bedouin
women. Jarvis, Claude Scudamore. Yesterday and To-day in Sinai. Edinburgh/London: W. Blackwood & Sons; Three Deserts. London: John Murray, 1936; Desert and Delta. London: John Murray, 1938. Sympathetic accounts by a colonial administrator in Sinai. Lancaster, William. The Rwala Bedouin
Bedouin
Today 1981 (Second Edition 1997). Detailed examination of social structures. S. Leder/B. Streck (ed.): Shifts and Drifts in Nomad-Sedentary Relations. Nomaden und Sesshafte 2 (Wiesbaden 2005) Lithwick, Harvey. "An Urban Development Strategy for the Negev's Bedouin
Bedouin
Community". Center for Bedouin
Bedouin
Studies and Development and Negev
Negev
Center for Regional Development, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, August 2000 Mohsen, Safia K. The quest for order among Awlad Ali of the Western Desert of Egypt. Thesiger, Wilfred (1959). Arabian Sands. ISBN 0-14-009514-4 (Penguin paperback). British adventurer lives as and with the Bedu of the Empty Quarter
Empty Quarter
for 5 years

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