Beja(redirected from Béja)
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Beja(bā`zhə), town (1991 pop. 20,005), S Portugal, capital of Beja dist. and Baixo Alentejo. It is an important regional trade center with copper, silver, lead, and zinc mining nearby. Beja was important under the Romans, who called it Pax Julia. The Moors used it as a fortress city, until the Portuguese recovered it in 1162. Notable landmarks are the 14th-century citadel and the 15th-century Convent of the Conception, now a regional museum.
Bedawi, a people inhabiting the northeastern region of the Republic of Sudan and the northwestern and western areas of Ethiopia. They number over 1 million (1967 estimate). They are divided into the tribes of the Bisharin, Hadendowa (speaking the Bedawi language of the Cushitic branch of the Semito-Hamitic language family), and the Beni Amer (speaking the Tigre language of the Semitic group). A significant portion of the Beja also know Arabic. Their religion is the Sunni sect of Islam. The Beja are pastoral nomads (camel, goat, and sheep raising) but have taken up agriculture in regions suitable for farming. Some of the Beja (primarily the Hadendowa) work on cotton plantations.