THE DESERT DWELLERS OF
THE MIDDLE EAST
The culture of the Middle East wouldn't be what it is without the influence from the Bedouins. Learn about the traditions, livelihood and customs of the Arabic tribes
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Rakan Alreqabi, Cole Keister, Anton Darius, James Ballard
29 November 2020
There is no tribe that fits the description of a 'nomad' better than the Bedouins. The Arabic groups are trained to survive all types of weather and unforgiving climate circumstances. Wanderers at heart, they are in constant search for the sun - during the winter months they head to the desert to avoid harsh weather and as soon as the rainy season starts, they set off to get back to the land.
Better known by the nickname 'desert dwellers', the tribes are unique because of their choice of lifestyle. Nature is important to them and they have a huge respect and a sense of responsibility for it. Their beliefs of gods and spirits is the thing that sets them apart from other tribes. Ancestors are put on pedestal as they have passed on ideals for loyalty and bravery that generations continue to live by until modern days.
The different Bedouin tribes are defined by the animal that they base their livelihood on such as camels and lambs. As the oldest inhabitants of the Arabian deserts they have travelled the lands of the Middle East and North Africa for centuries and have traced the regions of Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and even Iraq. The Bedouins base their livelihood on small-scale farming and are some of the most knowledgeable people about the secrets of the desert.
The culture of the Middle East wouldn't have been the same without the influence from the Bedouins. The desert dwellers continue to inhabit the area and abandoned villages so if you find yourself in the desert kingdom of the Middle East, keep your eyes open for the clans riding camels and conquering the sand dunes of the desert.
NOMADSofORIGIN is an independent annual publication with a focus on sustainable travelling and global cultural values. Each issue features interviews, engaging articles and photo guides, which take our nomadic readers through different destinations and introduce them to local people's perspectives.
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