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“There is a quality about the desert that is unlike anything else I have encountered. It creates the sensation of being utterly alone, with an extension of physical distance beyond which is the unlimited extension of time itself. In this environment, the human mind is lifted out of itself, above the level of mundane existence, until one has the feeling of being cast out into a limitless world of endless space and time.”World without Time – The Bedouin. By Edward Nevins and Theon Wright
From the start I didn’t like the village. I resented its small town mentality, and the loss of wide open views that the open desert offers …Read more "The sounds of village life"
Bismillah Rahman ar-Raheem. I don’t remember the first time I went to the sea. My parents and I travelled a lot when I was little and I don’t think they would remember that first moment either. In the summer we went on a little family outing to the seaside, and Insha’Allah I will not forget it. […]Read more "First trip to the sea"
Bismillah Rahman Ar-Raheem So I had this dream I was walking through a very clean and sparkly Waitrose. The little branch that my Mum used to wheel me through in a trolley as a child and then I where I worked at when I was at University. I know those aisles very well. In the […]Read more "Pregnancy Dreams"
Bismillah Rahman Ar-Raheem. Walking away from the comforts of consumer lifestyle is not a step to be taken lightly. Yet people living in cities often tell me when they come to the desert their soul feels something that is missing in their home. There are many things we do without here, which come as granted in […]Read more "A Simple Life"
Bismillah Rahman Ar-Raheem I have always been fascinated by ants. They are so awesome. Living organic machines with sophisticated structures and methods of living which surpass their brain power. I remember as a child in Greece watching soldier ants marching along a stone step, and planting smarties for them to find and watching them as […]Read more "Ants"
A short sturdy lady came towards me. Exuding strength, warmth, kindness, generosity, and an uncompromising self. She smiled greeting me with the booming greetings of the desert. At least 3 minutes dedicated to the ritual. Allah hayki, kaif haliki, shlownki, Al-hamdulilah, Allah maki, Halla ya halla, Allah HAYki. She kisses my cheek, grasps my head, then […]Read more "Portrait of a Matriarch…"
It is characteristic of Bedu to do things by extremes, to be either wildly generous or unbelievably mean, very patient or almost hysterically excitable, to be incredibly brave or to panic for no apparent reason. Ascetic by nature, they derive satisfaction from the bare simplicity of their lives and scorn the amenities which others would judge essential. Although, on the rare occasions that offer, they eat enormously, I have never met a Bedu who was greedy. …. Bedu set great score by human dignity, and most of them would prefer to watch a man die rather than see him humiliated.
Always reserved in front of strangers and accustomed on formal occasions to sit for hours motionless and in silence, they are a garrulous, lighthearted race. But … they can become uncompromisingly puritanical, quick to frown on all amusement, regarding song and music as a sin and laughter as unseemly. Probably no other people, either as a race or as individuals, combine so many conflicting qualities in such an extreme degree
Across the Empty Quarter – Wilfred Thesiger, 2007, Penguin.p.46-7. This short book consists of extracts from the novel: Arabian sands, 1959Read more "Wilfred Thesiger – Across the Empty Quarter"
Bismillah Rahman ar-Raheem. Look to nature and you will be amazed. The complexity, rhythms and beauty unmatched by what humans can make with our own minds and hands. From the huge landscapes, skies above us, down to the tiniest macro details, nature even in its tiniest intricacy dwarfs us. This feeling of smallness is very […]Read more "Natures Scale"
Bismillah Rahman ar-Raheem Fire is one of those things which connects with our instincts, our souls. It is something universally loved, and feared where-ever you go in the world. Sitting around a warm fire on a cold night, eating food prepared on it is one of the simplest and greatest pleasures in the world. One […]Read more "A Bedouin Fire"