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, sheik in Muslim countries
a. the head of an Arab tribe, village, etc.
b. a high priest or religious leader, esp a Sufi master
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



among Arab nomads the head or leader of a clan, tribe, or tribal alliance. In Islamic countries the term also acquired the general meaning of a venerable man; it is most often applied to leaders of Muslim sects and dervish orders (equivalent terms are “pir” and ’”murshid”), prominent theologians, and Muslim jurists. On the southern Arabian Peninsula and in the area of the Persian Gulf, several small states are ruled by sheikhs.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The government said that the "sentencing sends a message that law and order will be preserved." Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February, calling for an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty's more than 40 years of rule over the Persian Gulf sheikdom.
The fourth-largest member of the UAE and the last sheikdom to join the federation wants to reduce its modest debts after watching Dubai allow borrowing to get out of control.
Not surprisingly, the prevalence of the monarchy in all aspects of decision-making imply that family lineage and intrigue relate directly to the ebb and flow of power across the Sheikdoms comprising the federal system of government in the UAE.
government would have mounted a large military action and sacrificed American lives to prevent Iraq from taking over the tiny sheikdom of Kuwait except to allay the threat to a major oil supplier.
Interestingly, the Arab sheikdom of Abu Dhabi, which purchased only 752 quintales of coffee, paid the highest price by far - $127.44 per quintal.
"Suddenly tiny Kuwait has become a household word in America," said a July 23 article in the Wall Street Journal, which, concisely capturing the newspaper's previous attitude toward the country, stated that "until recently, Kuwait was a largely unnoticed sheikdom....
File Photo - Al-Azhar Sheikdom CAIRO, July 14 (MENA) - Deputy Head of the World Association for al-Azhar Graduates Mohamed al Qousi said Sunday that Al Azhar's message to the world calls for love, amity, mercy and cooperation and at the same time it urges discarding all kinds of violence, terrorism and extremism.
Gowers wouldn't say whether BP met directly with the sheikdom's powerful investment funds, which have provided needed cash to Western multinationals in past times of crisis.
Dubai developers are searching for new markets after the financial crisis caused property values in the sheikdom to fall further than in most other countries.
sheikdom, plans to build the pipeline to bypass the Strait, the 33-mile-wide channel through which Persian Gulf oil producers ship their crude exports.
BERLIN Execs from a large mosaic of broadcasters, including NBC News, BBC and Al-Jazeera, met at Promax & BDA's first Arabia Conference in the United Arab Emirates sheikdom of Dubai May 3-4.