Monday, 17 April 2017

N is for...Nourhanne... and... Nasri... and... Nomads...



is for
Nourhanne

is a singer from Lebanon, with Min Zaman, a pop number:  





Welcome back everyone after the big weekend, hope you have had a great time relaxing or catching up, and those celebrating Easter have had a great and fulfilling Easter Sunday. My weekend sped by before I had time to draw breath, this whole A-Z is flashing past at a break neck speed somehow. Anyways…


N is also for Assalah Nasri, a Syrian singer based out of Egypt, whose music leans towards traditional Arabic. She has been granted Bahraini nationality after she performed here in Bahrain for the National Day celebrations. Here is one of her shorter songs. (Traditional Arabic songs are long!)




Nomads


The very word ‘Arab’ is etymologically rooted in words like passer-by, nomad, moving around in the various Semitic languages. Think of an Arab and the image that floats into mind is a man in a chequered headgear riding a camel over miles of inhospitable dunes.



Jebeliya Bedouin and camels.  At the foot of Jebel Moussa, Mt
Moses, the mountain of the Decalogue. St Catherine, Egypt.


Arabia had been completely underplayed in the story of human migrations out of Africa…we’re transforming the prehistory of Arabia. ~ Michael Petraglia, Director, Paleodesert Project. 


There is now evidence that Arabia was the first stop when Man initially migrated out of Africa.  Several archaeological sites in Oman, Saudi Arabia and UAE have been identified. And some dated to more than 100,000 years.


Geneticists have shown that the modern human family tree began to branch out 60,000 years ago. I’m not questioning when it happened, but where. I suggest the great modern human expansion to the rest of the world was launched from Arabia rather than Africa. ~ Jeffrey Rose, Director, Dhofar Archaeological Project. 


Arabia wasn’t always a desert, it was once a lush, green land with flowing rivers - archeological evidence shows that hippos, elephants, big cats roamed across a savannah like terrain in what is now a formidably arid desert. 

The taxation of caravans and transport of goods 
and people were historical occupations.  Bedouin 
man. Wadi Rum. Jordan.  


So, if that’s the case it automatically begs the question – why didn’t the hunting-gathering populations that came out of Africa stay put in Arabia? What made the Arabs wander? Why were they nomads? 


The answer to that lies in the nature of Arabian climate change. It happened in cycles over many years, alternating between aridity and lushness. And these cycles of life-sustaining greenery and barrenness must be responsible for nomadism in the Arabian peninsula - when things got tough, the tough tribes broke camp and got going. 

Traditionally, Bedouins have raised goats and sheep in addition
to camels. A Bedouin flock crossing somewhere in Sinai. Egypt. 

The nomads in Arablands, generally known as Bedouins (from Bedu in Arabic) range from Oman in the south to Syria in the north, and from Egypt to Morocco in North Africa.  Camel, sheep and goat herding were their livelihood traditionally, and remains important even today.  Over the years, most Bedouins have been settled into purpose–built villages. Many of them work as guides or in other capacities in the tourism sector.


In most countries of the Middle East, they have no title to the lands, only the right to use.  The governments see the land traditionally used by the Bedouins as state property to be developed for the tourism sector, as for example in Egypt.  Predictably this has meant their lands shrinking and a resulting spike in unemployment, poverty and crime.

Bedouin guide in the White Desert, Egypt.
Many Bedouins are now settled in villages in
the desert and serve as tour guides.


They have their own laws and social customs and settle their disputes without recourse to the courts. It was considered completely inappropriate for Bedouins to marry ‘city-dwellers’ from outside the tribes, but it’s no longer unheard of, even if unacceptable.

A Bedouin woman's wealth is in her jewellery, traditionally made of silver and given when she gets married. Some of the designs have been handed down unchanged for thousands of years. However, individual antique pieces are rare, because once a woman dies, her jewellery is not handed down, that's considered unlucky - a bride must have new jewellery custom-made for her - so the dead lady's stuff is resold to the silversmiths who promptly melt it down.



Did you know - Lotfia el Nadi, an Egyptian, was the first female Arab pilot, she received her aviation licence in 1933 at the age of 25 and was the second woman to fly an aircraft solo after Amelia Earhart. The two women were friends and correspondents.
















Posted for the A-Z Challenge 2017 

36 comments:

  1. Enjoyed the Nomadic history lesson!
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fascinating. Again.
    And Lofia el Nadi counteracts the common myths that ALL Arab women are subdugated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Egyptian women were the pioneers among Arab women. And women are no more subjugated in the Arablands than anywhere else in Asia/Africa. I'll be saying more about this later, so zipping my lips now. No spoilers :)

      Delete
  3. Amazing transformations through the years as folks adapted to weather patterns and changing conditions. Your Narratives are Naturally Nutrition for the brain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nicely doNe! Neat commeNt :) ThaNks...

      Delete
  4. Lovely tidbit about the Arab woman flyer- didn't imagine them to be so progressive.

    Nonchalant morning walk in Fort Kochi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's part of the problem, the progressive ladies don't get any airtime, no pun intended. Or if they do, get dismissed on account of what they wear or some other piffling stuff like that. Thanks for visiting.

      Delete
  5. Very fascinating information about the Bedouin people. It would not surprise me at all if they prove that humans moved through the Middle East and from there to the rest of the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's already been done, sites in UAE and Saudi Arabia and Oman show that they did.

      Delete
  6. N is for the nest of knowledge you have so beautifully brought to us. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for being here, Martin. Nest of knowledge is a great term btw, I'm borrowing it for the future!

      Delete
  7. Another excellent post, always good to hear other pop singers from abroad that we heere don't hear.
    Great lesson on your culture.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The MENA has a lot of history and much to learn. Thanks.

      Delete
  8. Most fascinating!!
    Best wishes
    Moon
    https://aslifehappens60.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fantastic post.
    I love the music and I enjoyed reading about the Bedouins. I think traditional life, especially when nomadic, is becoming increasingly difficult today. Nations like borders... sad as it might sound.
    But I hope even these cultures will evolve in a way that will both adapt to the new situation and allow to keep the core of the culture alive. I suppose this is what all ancient cultures have done.
    I have hope :-)

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - 1940s Film Noir

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right. Traditional ways are disappearing fast. In the case of the Bedouins, the pure nomadic life is no more - they have been settled into villages over the 20th century. That is not a bad thing necessarily - I have visited a Bedouin village in the heart of the desert in Jordan where the government provides schooling and clinics, two things difficult to organise when everyone's on the move. The Bedouins in Egypt have been settled for centuries - they came from elsewhere and settled around the monasteries in the desert, attached to the monasteries in various capacities. The Bedus are Muslims themselves, but revere the monks and the monasteries. The connection has been transmitted from one generation to the next, many of their descendants are still there growing produce for the monks and acting as guides to the pilgrims.

      Delete
  10. Hi Nila - I'm definitely coming back to your posts to re-read and more importantly absorb ... this one looks another amazingly informative post ... I 'need to know' - so see you later ...cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/n-is-for-notable-rare-breeds-natives.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See you later! Or 'ashoofak baadein,' Hilary :)

      Delete
  11. Both the singers are so pretty. I didnt understand the words but her voice was mesmerizing.

    Thanks for sharing

    A Peice Of My Life

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't understand most of the lyrics either... my Arabic certainly not fluent enough...but love the music anyways. And if I am moved enough, I can always get translations off the net or off a friend :)

      Delete
  12. Post shows that you have researched the topic just too well! Appreciate all your hard work for that!
    Very informative post.
    ------------------------------------------------
    Anagha From Team MocktailMommies
    Collage Of Life

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I have had a long time in which to research.

      Delete
  13. An amazing little history lesson that directs the very spirit of 'Arabia' and sheds some light on the sad state of the bedouins, who are typefied as gypsy-like warriors but are just trying to make their way in an ever-changing world.

    And that little tidbit about Lotfia El Nadi was quite an eye opener! That's so cool!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nomads have had it hard everywhere, unfortunately.

      Delete
  14. "Predictably this has meant their lands shrinking and a resulting spike in unemployment, poverty and crime."

    Bedouins and American indians seem to have a lot in common, unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The haves and the have-nots, the same story everywhere. Sad, but true.

      Delete
  15. Your posts are such a wealth of information - I'm eager to read them every day. I had no idea about the climate change, nor did I realize that Bedouins ranged across countries, and were subject to such challenging conditions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The climate changed some thousands of years ago,the challenges are sadly more recent.

      Delete
  16. Fascinating - I had no idea how much the region had changed or how it formed a "pit stop" for human migration. But it makes a lot of sense that our movement would have been linked to changes in climate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That 'pit stop' bit has come to light in the last 10-15 years. It has always puzzled me no end how the first humans could jump across from Africa to Asia and Europe without touching down on Arabia.

      Delete
  17. Really interesting about the nomads/bedouins. We used to have Bedouins in the hospital I worked at in Saudi and some of them had never slept in a proper bed or used a modern bathroom so found it really difficult to adjust.

    Highlands Days of Fun

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment reminded me of a famous poem by Tagore, a Bengali Nobel Laureate framed as a conversation between a wild bird and a caged one. :)
      http://www.poetry-archive.com/t/the_tame_bird_was_in_a_cage.html

      Delete
  18. It is difficult to think of the time were Arabia was green, isn't it?

    I didn't know about Lotfia el Nadi, thanks for the reference!
    -----
    Eva - Mail Adventures

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Egyptian women were the most progressive among the Arab countries at one point of time. They had many firsts...

      Delete

Thank you for stopping by! If you are here from the A-Z, please leave me your link. A clicky link would be super, but just your url pasted in will do fine too. Just please, please, don't leave me to figure things out from a Google profile! :-)