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The Bedouins and nomadic tribes of the desert


In desert areas that extend from the central part of the Arabian peninsula various tribes of nomadic Bedouins lived there (so called by the Arabic term Bedewi, "inhabitants of the steppe"), pastoralists and raids. Around the Oases and on the Red Sea coast, those were the places where the environmental conditions were better, they were settled farmers, artisans and traders who populated centers usually of a modest size.
The presence of the desert seems to have marked some character traits and behavior of the Arab population and especially the nomad: a strong sense of belonging to their clan, great courage, a strong attachment to freedom, alongside these traits should also remember the keenest sense of hospitality (for those who live in the desert in fact find refuge and hospitality which often means salvation).

The woman, as it often happens in living conditions particularly hostile and hard, participates in the community life in a position not unlike that of man. At the base of the social organization of the nomadic tribes there was, at the head of all the person which was elected, one of "Sheikh" (Arabic Sayyid); Sheikh actually held rather limited powers, for example he could not enact laws. In time of war it was sometimes replaced in the role of tribal chief by a military commander (Rais). The tribe was collectively responsible for the acts of all those who were part of it: so, if one member committed a crime, the responsibility was shared by the whole group.

In this way between different tribes there were often the burst of real wars, because the use of vengeance to make up for the wrongs done (especially raids or disputes for the control of pastures or sources) was something common.

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