Arabian Sands (Penguin Classics) [Wilfred Thesiger, Rory Stewart] on Amazon. com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Following worthily in the tradition of. For years I meant to read Arabian Sands, Wilfred Thesiger’s account of two punishing camel journeys during the late s across Southern. Arabian Sands is Wilfred Thesiger’s record of his extraordinary journey through the parched “Empty Quarter” of Arabia. Educated at Eton and.
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There was a sheikh who liked to send out a dead goat every time he heard a desert wolf howl. Ibn Saud, the original Saud, was finally taking control of the region. He travelled with the Bedouin people, or as he calls them Bedu, experiencing their daily challenges of extreme heat, ice cold nights, long treks with camels under the relen After the Second World War, Thesiger spent five years criss-crossing the deserts of Arabia in particular the ‘Empty Quarter’.
Through his journey, documents a way of life which no longer exists, at a time when the Bedouins were fast disappearing with the discovery of oil in the Middle East, bringing with it the modern conveniences which arrive with this discovery of black gold.
Sign In Register Help Cart. But Thesiger draws me into his story gradually. On one occasion they run out of water in the desert and pass 24 hours before they reach a well. He states boldly in the introduction to this work, whatever their results “[future explorers] will never know the spirit of the land nor the greatness of the Arabs. Bow Windows Bookshop Published: A Bedu sheikh has no paid retainers on whom he can rely to carry out his orders.
Here especially it seemed that the evil that comes with sudden change would far outweigh the good. They had no tent; their only possessions were saddles, ropes, bowls, empty goatskins, and their rifles and daggers…. I shall always remember how often I was humbled by those illiterate herdsmen who possessed, in so much greater measure than I, generosity and courage, endurance, patience, and lighthearted gallantry.
I don’t know if the author showed amazing powers of clairvoyance, or he simply put in the text written some 10 years after the journeys later information about the effect of petrodollars pouring in and drastically changing the Gulf states social order, but he predicted the marginalization and the destitution of the nomads lifestyle that had endured unchanged for millenia.
Finely bound in full luxurious leather with gold embossed decoration and gold gilt edges. Thesiger’s focus was on exploration which meant spending time in the desert with a small number of guides rather than on ethnography and his views reflect his reading and his general attitudes about civilisation he’s more sympathetic to the hard lives lived in extreme circumstances.
Mar 15, Scott rated it it was ok.
Clean and tight in original binding of blue cloth and light blue boards wjlfred bright dustjacket price-clipped now in mylar cover.
One of the great travel books. Living with the nomadic Arab tribes of the Empty Quarter betweenjust before the discovery of oil, he gives a thorough insight to how locals cope with living under desperately harsh circumstances.
His bold signature is on the title page. Travel as penance maybe, certainly not about destinations.
You will find that the Bedu are a delightfully peculiar people who have, as with all cultures of the world, as much good to them as bad.
But it gave him an opportunity to experience the Rub’ al-Khali, or the Empty Quarter, an experience not many outside the local Bedu tribes have had. Wilfred Thesiger is tgesiger exception to the rule, as his explorations were concerned almost as much with getting to know and becoming integrated with the local tribes as they were about the physical distances travelled.
He was no longer welcome. Through his eyes, we glimpse a world of almost unimaginable hardship and startling beauty. No, it is not the goal but the way there that matters, and the harder the way the more worth while the journey. He became a colonial officer in Sudanworking in the desert region of Darfur and then the swampy Suddwhere he was responsible for shooting lions. I savored every word, description, character met, and landscape. An enthralling well written book. This book was very difficult to read as an audiobook.
After a pause, he said, ‘By God, he was a man! Thesiger also has the advantage of being able to write bluntly and without reservation in tones and turns of phrases that modern authors might hesitate to use.
It is also true that one of the less endearing characteristic of these British explorers is their ability to ignore the local populations that lived in those same thhesiger for millenia. A near fine copy, and even Philby, who was critical of ALL his rival explorers, has kind words for Thesiger and this book.
Thesiger continues to leave his mark in the Arabian sands
They created the world’s second largest religion, and nearly conquered the world. Jul 25, Jan-Maat added it Shelves: Map present and complete in the rear end pocket as called for.
There was no privacy and if he should attempt to have a quiet word with someone on the side everyone came rushing over to find out what was so secret. But it remains an entertaining book featuring Thesiger’s wonder at the hardiness of his companions as they struggle over the dunes on a diet of rice and raisins utterly dependant on the health of their camels to survive. Rub al Khali, also known as the Empty Quarter, the most desolate land on the whole planet.
Arabian Sands – Wilfred Thesiger – Google Books
His position in the tribe, in fact, resembles that of a chairman of a committee meeting. There is something of the outdated ‘noble savage’ Romantic outlook I’m thinking of Fenimore Arabizn and the last of the Mohicans in the above quote, but the arguments Thesiger brings in support of his thesis are convincing and often heartbreaking.
He also makes overarching points about the Arabs as a people. A fine companion volume, also b Even T. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Availability of water, where his guides were willing to take him, boundaries imposed by warring tribes, wwilfred, were all things that constrained his movements, whereas I can get in my car and go see almost any type of geography I want, and hop on a plane and fly to those I can’t get to by car.
The book focuses on the author’s travels across wi,fred Empty Quarter of the Arabian Peninsula between and At age 23 he went on his first exploration, of the Awash River in Abyssinia now Ethiopia. He describes the Sands: But this region that is mostly Oman today has only existed as it is now for so short a period of time that the reality portrayed by Wilfred Thesiger, a British civil servant who used his day job to allow him to explore areas of the world mostly unknown to the West, is not so far distant as you might imagine.
Author Thesiger travelled for five years among the desert tribes of southern Arabia. This copy includes an obituary of Thesiger, the greatest and bravest of the Arabian explorers.