Bedouin

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Related to Beduins: Berbers, Tuaregs

Bedouin

(bĕd`o͞oĭn) [Arab.,=desert dwellers], primarily nomad Arab peoples of the Middle East, where they form about 10% of the population. They are of the same Semitic stock as their sedentary neighbors (the fellahin; see ArabsArabs,
name originally applied to the Semitic peoples of the Arabian Peninsula. It now refers to those persons whose primary language is Arabic. They constitute most of the population of Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi
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) and share with them a devout belief in IslamIslam
, [Arab.,=submission to God], world religion founded by the Prophet Muhammad. Founded in the 7th cent., Islam is the youngest of the three monotheistic world religions (with Judaism and Christianity). An adherent to Islam is a Muslim [Arab.,=one who submits].
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 and a distrust of any but their own local traditions and way of life. Camel and sheep breeding provide their main livelihood. Land is divided into recognized tribal orbits within which are roving family groups. The tribe is a community of equals headed by a sheikh. Among the Bedouin, hospitality and simple, immediate justice are first rules of conduct. Although Bedouin have traditionally avoided agricultural work, settlement policies of the various Middle Eastern states in the 20th cent. have forced many of them into a sedentary life.

Bibliography

See E. Marx, Bedouin of the Negev (1967); E. Nevins and T. Wright, World Without Time (1969).

Bedouin

a nomadic desert Arab. [Br. Folklore: Espy, 98]

Bedouin

, Beduin
a member of any of the nomadic tribes of Arabs inhabiting the deserts of Arabia, Jordan, and Syria, as well as parts of the Sahara