Arabs on the Beach in Alexandria

by Noor Naga

 

It was the summer of 2013, a formidable summer in Egypt. We walked from our villa toward the sea, carrying collapsible aluminum chairs, bags of cucumber-and-cheese sandwiches and pea-sized yellow grapes that are called banaati—literally, “girlish.” This had been our ritual for the past seven Fridays. My grandmother walked ahead with my aunt, and I followed floppily in their morning shadow. We spent every weekend at Qariyet El Muhandiseen, one of many gated compounds that have sprung up in the last four decades, providing summer getaways for the Egyptian elite. Completed in the late eighties, only twenty-six kilometers west of Alexandria, this one in particular is considered démodé.

The entrance to the compound is not immediately accessible from the Coastal Road, which runs from Alexandria all the way to Libya. Instead there is a small yellow sign pointing at a dirt path. This path winds through a residential Bedouin area where barefoot children play in pajamas, and the houses are overrun by nets of lush, thorny bougainvillea. In Arabic this species of vine is called guhannamiyya—literally, “hellish”—and it is most commonly seen celebrating over places of dereliction with its magenta, orange, and white chiffon. At the end of the dirt path is the wrought iron gate where a security guard is stationed day and night. The day before, when we came through in the Camry, my grandmother tipped him a ten like she always does.

Inside, there is a wall separating the compound perimeters from the Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals Company to the west and the local Bedouin communities to the east. This wall is made to look threatening, with shards of glass and broken bottles sticking out of its concrete top in lieu of barbed wire. Despite this detail, the wall does not extend all the way to the sea, making it more symbolic than functional. At night wild dogs roam in from the desert, haunting the sleepers, howling, scrounging through garbage bags and pissing at the foot of every palm tree. Soldiers stationed in nearby watchtowers come to bathe in the black water. By morning, peddlers begin wandering in from the beach carrying wooden baskets of figs or glass tanks of fresca—thin wafers, resembling paper plates, that might also be combined with candied nuts or coconut to make a bite-sized sweet.

But that morning, the seventh Friday of our summer, we did not make it to the beach. A security guard stopped us when we reached the compound pool, which is easily the size of a soccer field and divides the villas from a three-story apartment complex. “There are Arabs on the beach,” he said. From where we stood, we could not see the sand or even the water. “Two of their boys drowned last night.” My grandmother hissed a prayer that sounded closer to a curse. My aunt told him that we were going to go look.

“But don’t get too close,” he said.

On our way, two more security guards stopped us to reiterate, “There are Arabs on the beach, Arabs on the beach, drowned, two boys drowned, the diver looking for them.”

As we rounded the apartment complex, my grandmother hissed prayer after prayer. This is what we saw: a vein of angry sea-green between a cloudless blue sky and sand that was many shades of bread; umbrellas made from dried palm fronds on iron skeletons, each hammered into the sand at regular intervals; huddled in the shade of each umbrella, the backs of two dozen silent men, all in white, watching the sea. There wasn’t a word among them. There wasn’t a movement. The wind bellied their galabiyyas in a hundred sails, as though the earth itself were rolling beneath them. The waves crashed in sets of seven, tossing what looked like nuptial handfuls of rice in the air.

On our way back to the villa in our sunglasses and straw hats, carrying collapsible chairs and sandwiches and grapes, I asked my grandmother and aunt, “Aren’t we Arabs?” to which they replied, simply, simultaneously, “No.”

 

It was the first time I heard about the Arabs, but as often happens when learning a new thing, that new thing begins to appear, to curl its skeletal fingers around one’s shoulder every few days until one feels haunted and also clairvoyant. Later that same summer, on our way to a wedding in King Mariout, we received warning phone calls from friends at the head of our motorcade: “Arabs on the road.” This whisper passed from one car to another, like a virus moving down the knobs of a spine until the bone-chill was in everyone’s tail. When the cellphones finally stopped lighting up, everyone was silent, listening for gunshot. No gunshot. Nothing happened. The hotel entrance was crowded, and instead of getting out and walking the hundred meters, we sat an extra half hour waiting our turn to slip safely, in our nudity—glossed thighs and collarbones, winged eyes lowered—from the car to the brightly lit reception staffed with uniformed guards.

Several hours later, when the time came for leaving, shawls materialized and were distributed so the women could armor themselves for the walk to the parking lot. We saw no Arabs then either, but the ride back to the city was somber and watchful. This was the post-revolution, post-coup d’état climate when cars traveling the Coastal Road at night might find their paths blocked by boulders that had been rolled in from the desert onto the road, and twenty thugs and their twenty rifles might take the cars and send one walking, wallet-less, back the way one came. People said the jails had emptied their bowels into the city, that murderers and rapists walked among us like innocents; but outside of Alexandria, and especially at night, the fear had a name and an ethnic accusation.

I should clarify that although I’ve spent every summer of my life in Alexandria, I was raised in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and so there are unusual gaps in my cultural knowledge. While my belated discoveries of basic Egyptian conventions and assumptions is often a source of embarrassment to me—only recently, at age twenty-five, did I learn the linguistic difference between kubsha (“handful”) and kabsha (“ladle-full”), for example—at other times, my bafflement allows me room for critique. Being not quite an insider or an outsider to Alexandria means I am likely to question ideas that I cannot understand. Dubai in the late 1990s and early 2000s was a place infected with the dream of Pan-Arabism, an ideology championed by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser (in office from 1956 to 1970). At school and in the weekly Quran classes I attended, my classmates and teachers were from all over North Africa, the Arabian Gulf and the Levant. I remember countless school lessons derailed by ardent speeches from teachers about the former glory of the Arab world and the present disunity and consequent decline. Perhaps because the majority of us had arrived so recently to the UAE and had no hope of ever attaining citizenship there, we tried to create a sense of belonging from our shared Arabness, and as far as I remember there was no hierarchy of authenticity. How was it possible then that a mere three thousand kilometers away, only forty-five years after the Nasser era, Egyptians had ceased to consider themselves Arab at all? What did that make them, and where did it leave me?

When I began to ask around in Alexandria about the Arabs, I found myself repeatedly coming up against the popular belief that the Bedouins of Egypt are not Egyptian. They are thought to be the descendants of tribes from the Arabian Peninsula who migrated with the Arab-Muslim conquest at the end of the seventh century, bringing a foreign blood and tongue and custom. “The Egyptian people are farmers, fellahin, but they are not Bedouins,” I am told by a former professor of English literature at the University of Alexandria. “We did not roam like Somalis or herd cattle like Yemenis. Historically, the entire Egyptian civilization consisted of a vertical strip”—she draws with two fingers in the air a downward line, representing a stretch from north to south—“of farmland hugging the Nile. Nothing more. And then they came.” Bedouin migration into Egypt, which peaked during the Fatimid caliphate (968–1171), included tribes from North Africa, Greater Syria, Iraq, and Palestine, but this diversity has been eclipsed in the contemporary discourse.Today Bedouins make up ten percent of the Egyptian population. They are concentrated in Faiyum, Aswan, Bahira, the Sinai Peninsula, Matruh, the Western Desert, and Alexandria, but genealogically they are associated almost exclusively with the Arabian Peninsula, and in particular the present-day Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.2 The fact that so many of these Bedouins crossed the eastern border a millennium ago (and the border itself has been drawn and redrawn) is also irrelevant to the Egyptian imaginary. Their coming is fresh enough to make them other and suspect.

After having rejected Arabness as partly an invention of Gamal Abdel Nasser’s and partly a foreign infiltration dating back to the Arab-Muslim conquest, one would think Egyptians would claim Africanness as a national identity, but of course they reject that too. It is a running joke that Egyptians are African only when cheering at soccer matches in the African Cup of Nations. In all other contexts, to speak of an “African” is to speak of a sub-Saharan African, and this comes with the usual host of racist connotations: barbarism, famine, poverty, disease. My grandmother tells me that when King Farouk reigned over Egypt and Sudan from 1936 to 1952, there was a more pronounced sense of East African identity, but this was dissolved under Nasser’s presidency from 1956 to 1970. Today, for the most part, we seem to want to believe that we are culturally original, that we birthed ourselves with no help from a mother and no connection to anyone around us. We are not Arab, not African. In Alexandria the claim that I hear most often tossed around is that we are Mediterranean. Our diet, our language, even our dress, I am reminded again and again, is inspired by centuries of exposure to the Greeks, the Italians, the French, the Turks, the Armenians and Libyans and Palestinians who were passing through. Usually this argument is followed by an observation that the word fresca comes from Italian—meaning “fresh”—that the eggplant dish mesa’a‘a is also the Greek moussaka, that shawerma is the Turkish döner, that our furniture have names derived from French and Italian and Coptic—chiffonnira, comodino, tarabeza—that we wear casquettas and blousas and bantalon; in short, that if we must claim a regional identity, call it Mediterranean.

 

It would be easy to imagine that the Bedouins of Egypt feel only resentment toward their minority status and their continued exclusion from the national identity, particularly as the state increasingly restricts their movement and activities; but as numerous scholars have pointed out, this is also rather a source of pride. Lila Abu-Lughod, an anthropologist who studied the Awlad Ali Bedouins of the Egyptian Western Desert in the late 1970s, writes that “they distinguish themselves clearly from settled ‘Egyptians’ or ‘people of the Nile Valley’ … urban and rural, in linguistic, sartorial, cultural, and moral terms.”3 Moreover, the accusation of Arabness—though it is divisive—is not necessarily offensive to all parties; in fact, the Bedouins themselves claim the term as a self-descriptor and a point of honor. “Blood,” writes Abu-Lughod,

 

in the sense of genealogy, is the basis of Awlad Ali identity. No matter where or how they live, those who can link themselves genealogically to any of the tribes of the Western Desert are ‘arab, as opposed to Egyptians. The use of the term Arab to distinguish themselves from their Egyptian neighbors implies the Bedouin claim to origins in the Arabian Peninsula and genealogical links to the pure Arab tribes who were the first followers of the Prophet Muhammad.4

 

So while it’s true that city-dwelling Egyptians view themselves as superior to the Bedouins, based on their imagined nativity, as well as their education and modernity, the Bedouins too have their arguments for supremacy based on the supposed purity of their lineage and its direct connection to the early Muslim community, which grants them at the same time moral and religious advantage.

Joseph J. Hobbs, an anthropologist who studied a tribe in the Eastern Desert called Ma’aza—literally “Goat People”—and in particular the clan of the Khushmaan—“Nose People”—wrote in 1989 that the inability of Egyptians to navigate the desert landscape is also a source of Bedouin ridicule: “[Egyptians] are donkeys; ask them which way is up wadi and they will point down wadi”; “Egyptians sleep in the road, whether it’s a car or camel track”; “they are like goats except that they have mustaches and no brains.”5 It should be noted that the prejudices Egyptians and Bedouins harbor toward each other are borne out of very little social intermingling, although this is becoming less and less the case as more Bedouins migrate toward the urban peripheries for work and more city-dwellers choose to escape the congestion of city centers in favor of newer developments on the North Coast and Red Sea.

My family still goes every weekend in the summer to Qariyet El Muhandiseen. The permeable border of the compound, as well as its unglamorous access route from the Coastal Road, is considered unusual: a fault of its age. Newer compounds, particularly those completed post-revolution, are designed with even more security (read: exclusivity) in mind. They are militarily sealed in order to function as enclaves for a social milieu that wants to luxuriate privately, expensively, in Western fashion, without the threat of contact with the Bedouin communities. In Qariyet El Muhandiseen, such segregation—although intended—is not entirely possible. On our way there, we take the same Coastal Road we have been taking for years, and then the same winding dirt path through the Bedouin neighborhood.

One Thursday in 2015, two years after the two boys drowned and the Arabs gathered on the beach all in white, as we drove through in the Camry, the bougainvillea were there, but the children were not. All the houses were locked and the wooden shutters closed on all the windows. There was no washing on the lines. We passed the twisted, black, metal remains of a pickup truck and grocery store, both apparently destroyed by arson. When we arrived at the gate, the guard described to my aunt a dispute between the Bedouin families and how it had ended in murder.

“Alaa’s whole family is gone,” he told us. Alaa is our gardener, whom I remember as having the same build and coif as Kramer from Seinfeld. “It was a relative of Alaa’s that killed the other man. Even though the killer turned himself in to the police, anyone connected to him is gone.”

“Why?”

“The victim’s family refuses to press chargers.”

Why?

“They’re waiting for him to be released so they can kill him themselves.”

I was the only one surprised. My grandmother prayed, and my aunt made a sound in her throat like a rusted door hinge, then shook her head for two minutes straight; but neither of them showed signs of shock. That a murderer should turn himself in to the police—not for punishment but for protection—and that his entire family should need to flee for their own safety, I will admit, was bewildering to me, the mathematics of vengeance being so distant from my own reality in both Alexandria and Dubai. I remembered reading an interview with a Bedouin from the Awlad Ali tribe in the village of al-Qasr, just west of Marsa Matruh. This sixty-five-year-old man, who was a farmer, successful business owner, and head of the local council, described how in 1964, the very first police station was set up in al-Qasr. In the time that followed, however, the station did not receive a single complaint from the local Bedouin community, because, the man claimed, “qabā’il (clans; tribes) are very effective in solving problems before they get bigger and bigger.” Eventually, the pointlessness of the police station in al-Qasr became evident, and it was shut down entirely.6

In al-Qasr, the interference of the law had proved to be ineffective but also innocuous to the Bedouin community; however, this is not always the case. Lila Abu-Lughod has argued that in the last sixty years, the greatest threat to the Bedouin way of life in the Western Desert has come from government crackdowns. After 1952, the legal exceptions that King Farouk had made for the Bedouins, with regard to taxation, military conscription, and juridical autonomy, for example, were revoked. Since then, the government has increasingly restricted their movements and limited their freedom to manage their own affairs, often inadvertently pushing the Bedouin population toward noncooperation and an extralegal lifestyle. Abu-Lughod writes that “arrests and jailing carry no stigma for the Bedouins … most people live outside the law, wittingly or unwittingly, smuggling, crossing closed borders, carrying unlicensed firearms, avoiding conscription, not registering births, foregoing identity papers, evading taxes and taking justice into their own hands.”Since Lughod made these observations in 1984, conditions for Bedouins across Egypt have only worsened.

Anthropologist Nadeem Karkabi has illustrated how, in the last three decades, government policies to nationalize South Sinai have systematically disenfranchised its local Bedouin population. The state’s seizure of land that had previously been under Bedouin rule, followed by the legal introduction of individual land rights, pressured Bedouin tribes who were not able to pay the registration fee to sell their land for a pittance. Having done that, these tribes were forced to resettle on the fringes of tourist towns, effectively “trespassing” on their own tribal territory, and only rarely managing to reclaim their rights to state-owned desert land. As Karkabi points out, “this vicious circle of claiming, disclaiming and reclaiming lands, labeled the Sinai Bedouins as a disobedient, criminal and civically irresponsible population.”8

Since the early 1980s, checkpoints have been installed on every highway crossroad in South Sinai, and President Hosni Mubarak (in office from 1981 to 2011) even constructed a fence around the entire town of Sharm el-Sheikh, all under the pretense of protecting the tourism industry from threats of “terrorism” that were often associated with the Bedouins. With few means of resistance at their disposal, Bedouin groups in the South Sinai have resorted in recent years to squatting on private property in the claim of indigenous ownership. They have also resorted to kidnapping foreign tourists and Egyptian government officials in the hopes of leveraging them for the release of Bedouin prisoners, many of whom were charged for political activity.9 Although the Bedouins fought alongside Egyptian troops against the Israeli occupation of Sinai in 1967, there were rumors even then of their collaboration with the Israeli military. These rumors, along with their implications of weak national loyalty, never quite subsided. Given the Bedouins’ long-standing opposition to the Egyptian Army, they have had even less incentive to demonstrate civil obedience since the appointment of the military-backed president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in 2013. Today, there are whispers that the Bedouins dig tunnels across the border, that they smuggle drugs and weapons, that they support political Islamic groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas or ISIS, that they harbor in their desert houses characters threatening to national security—in short, that they cannot be trusted.

Walking around the compound the weekend of the murder, it was the first time since the two boys drowned that I remember Qariyet El Muhandiseen looking so deserted. Many of the men in Alaa’s family worked in the compound, and with them gone, the newspapers had not been delivered and the gas cylinders used for cooking had not been replaced. Over the next two days, the gardens dehydrated, and on the beach no fruit or fresca were sold. Knotted garbage bags waited at the ends of roads for men who never came. The mosque at prayer time was desolate. For a people whose presence inspires such unease, the absence of Bedouins was chilling. We left a day early.

 

“We’re Awlad Ali,” he says. “From Libya. There’s Ali the White and Ali the Red. We’re Awlad Ali the Red.”

Alaa, it turns out, looks nothing like Kramer from Seinfeld. He looks uncomfortable. Or, to be more precise, he looks like he is waiting for a question to be answered, his forehead furrows on furrows of reddish-brown skin. He does not know why my grandmother called and asked him to come, or why she has left us alone in the shade of the poinciana tree in the villa’s garden. Had he known that this Alexandrian girl with frazzled hair was waiting at the other end, I wonder whether he would still have appeared. It is the summer of 2017, two years after the murder, four years after the drowning, and I’m sitting with Alaa, asking him how long his family has been here.

“When my great-great-grandfather came from Libya, this land was empty,” he says with hesitation. “Over a hundred years ago. This compound was my grandfather’s, but he sold the land for forty thousand pounds in ’81. This was the first touristic compound on the entire North Coast.”

After all my research about how the Bedouins crossed into Egypt so many centuries ago from the east, I’m surprised by how short Alaa’s timeline is and the fact that his family came from Libya, but I nod and repeat his words back to him to show that I understand. I ask another question and he answers, simplifying his dialect even further, bringing it closer to mine, at times openly translating. Though his unease is gradually lifting, I am conscious of my own femaleness and the impropriety of our semiprivate interview (my grandmother can be heard talking on the phone inside the villa, but otherwise we are alone with the birds). I remember everything I’ve read about the supposed immodesty, the moral looseness, of city-dwellers and am anxious not to fit into that stereotype. I have deliberately worn long sleeves and tied my hair back for the occasion. Beneath my self-consciousness, however, I am also wary of the ethical fragility of my position as an interviewer. I find myself, for the first time in my life, in the role of anthropologist, selfishly feeding my own curiosity, while at the same time wanting to protect Alaa from my curiosity, from the history of this dynamic and all the potential that it holds and has held for abuse. I feel guilty and dangerous at the same time. But the longer we talk, the more natural it feels, and eventually the rigidity of the interview gives way to a conversation. He speaks generously and with animation, using his whole body to express the words I do not know or drawing diagrams in the grass between our feet.

“There’s no Arab that would ever go to the police,” he says proudly when I ask him how his community governs itself. “You go to the elder of the tribe, and he’ll get you what’s yours. He’ll send for the elders of the other tribes involved, and if the reconciliation takes years, the reconciliation takes years. You wait.” And then he adds, “You remember the murder two years ago?”

I nod, relieved that I didn’t have to be the one to bring up the murder, even though I had summoned him in order to ask him about it.

“It was one of our clan who did it. When he ran over that boy with his car, we left our homes.”

“You fled?”

“No,” he says, looking surprised but thankfully not insulted. “There’s no fleeing. We were ordered to leave. We had to be at least four hundred kilometers away from the victim’s family for an entire year.”

Alaa tells me that if the victim’s family had ordered them to go all the way to Salloum, or to stay away for a hundred years, they would have done so without objection. For the year of their banishment, the council of Arabs, which consisted of tribal elders, negotiated a fitting recompense for the crime, finally settling on a sum of nine hundred thousand pounds to be paid to the victim’s family. This money was pooled together from every household in the murderer’s clan. Alaa says that with blood money like that, sometimes the victim’s family chooses to accept it, and sometimes they choose to forgive.

“In our case,” Alaa says, “they forgave. The nine hundred thousand pounds we had given the victim’s family came back to us exactly the same.”

“They gave it back?”

“It came back to us exactly the same.”

Alaa’s phone rings. His phone has been ringing almost nonstop throughout our conversation, and every time he slips his hand into his pocket and silences it, I am humbled by this small act. I am conscious of the gift of time and attention that he is giving me. When I ask him if it’s possible to be banished from the tribe, Alaa says that it does happen. If someone commits serious crimes repeatedly, he receives a piece of paper signed by every clan from every tribe, and this effectively excommunicates him. Alaa tells me there might be twenty or thirty clans per tribe, and the tribes themselves number three or four hundred, so it can take years to get all the signatures. But eventually the paper finishes circling and comes for the one it’s meant for.

“My relative,” he says, “the one who ran over the boy with his truck two years ago—his paper is coming. It’s still circling around the tribes, but it’ll come to him eventually, and then he’ll have to leave.”

“Where will he go?” I ask.

“He’ll go wherever he goes, but he can’t stay here. If he does, the victim’s family will never be able to forget. Even if they’ve forgiven, every time they see him they’ll remember. And this case… this particular case was difficult. The victim was young, and he was a groom.”

“A groom?”

“His wedding was on Saturday, and he died the Wednesday, just three days before. They’d already bought the furniture.”

 

We speak for forty-five minutes, and the conversation winds lazily, from differences in the bread we eat, to the words we use for specific body parts (he informs me that what we call a hand they call an arm, what we call a palm they call a hand), to the customs of marriage and divorce. When Alaa leaves, we both stand up but do not shake hands. I thank him. He says we could keep talking for a hundred years and still there would be more to say. Then he goes around the house to find my grandmother, and I am left by myself in the garden he waters and tends, beneath the poinciana tree. I feel an uncomfortable mixture of embarrassment and gratitude. Almost everything I’d been told about Alaa and the incident of the murder had been contradicted by him in less than an hour. That his family fled for their lives, that the killer had turned himself in to the cops; that the victim’s family was parked outside the station, refusing to press charges, waiting for him to be released so they could take revenge… after two years with the details of this story circling in my brain like crows, they suddenly seemed ridiculous, sensationalist, utterly false.

I don’t know with any degree of certainty how much truth is in Alaa’s account or the one that had reached me via the security guard back in 2015. I have made no effort to cross-check any of the facts of this case with the police or neutral third parties. What has emerged for me is the danger of having believed the guard without question, and I am horrified to realize I may even have repeated his version of events. I try to remember who I might have told about the murder: certainly my closest friends, Joud in Toronto and Yara in New York, but maybe there were others? I might have told Yara’s brother Yazan as well, and maybe he repeated it to his friend Rob? And who might Rob have told? There is no spooling the yarn after it has spilled and tangled. I am not a reporter, but it occurs to me that this is precisely the kind of sloppy misinformation that is responsible for so much prejudice between minority groups and the dominant society in Egypt. It had been easy for me to trace a historical genealogy for the hostility between Bedouins and city-dwellers, just as it was easy for me to understand how government policies and other systemic conditions continue to exacerbate the relationship between them from the top down. But it was not until I found myself personally perpetuating unverified hearsay about the Bedouins that I began to recognize the role that individuals play in maintaining mythologies of otherness. Had I not spoken to Alaa myself, I might never have realized my own power to injure a people I had never met.

In the car on the way back to Alexandria, I notice for the very first time that the western wall of the compound, which borders the Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals Company, has doubled in height. It now stands seven or eight meters in the air, all exposed red brick and cement. My grandmother is driving, and on our way out of the compound gate, she tips the security guard on duty. She taps her rings on the steering wheel. I see again the scorched grocery store and the twisted black metal of the truck. Apart from some spray-painted obscenities on one wall, neither of them has been touched since the murder. I see the groom too. In my imagination, he dies in his wedding tuxedo, even though I know from speaking to Alaa that he would have worn a galabiyya, not a suit, to the wedding. I try to imagine the bride. If he was young, she was younger. Alaa told me that the bride and groom don’t typically meet until the night of the wedding, so it is likely she had never even known his face. How does one grieve for a stranger? I picture all their furniture, still plastic-wrapped in a house somewhere. As we wind through the twisting dirt road in the Camry, my grandmother continues to tap her rings on the wheel. She hums a little before telling me that overwatering bougainvillea is a common gardening mistake. In Arabic this species of vine is called guhannamiyya—literally “hellish.” It is known to flower only in extreme thirst.

 

[Purchase Issue 15 here.]

 

Noor Naga is an Alexandrian writer who was born in Philly, raised in Dubai, and educated in Toronto. She is the 2017 Bronwen Wallace Award winner, and her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Nashville ReviewThe OffingArc Poetry Magazine, and more. She currently lives in Cairo.

 

Footnotes

1Muhammad Suwaed, Historical Dictionary of the Bedouins (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), 77.
2
Suwaed, 78.
3
Lila Abu-Lughod, “Fieldwork of a Dutiful Daughter,” in Arab Women in the Field: Studying Your Own Society, ed. Soraya Altorki and Camillia Fawzi El-Solh (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1988), 143.
4
Abu-Lughod, 144.
5
Joseph J. Hobbs, Bedouin Life in the Egyptian Wilderness (Houston: University of Texas Press, 2010), 24–59.
6
Soraya Altorki and Donald P. Cole, “Land and Identity among Awlad ‘Ali Bedouin: Egypt’s Northwest Coast,” in Nomadic Societies in the Middle East and North Africa, ed. Dawn Chatty (Leiden: Brill, 2006), 646.
7Lila Abu-Lughod, “Change and Egyptian Bedouins,” Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine 8-1 (March 1984), accessed March 24, 2017. https://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/change-and-egyptian-bedouins.
8Nadeem Karkabi, “Lifestyle Migration in South Sinai, Egypt: Nationalisation, Privileged Citizenship and Indigenous Rights,” International Review of Social Research 3:1 (February 2013), 56.
9
Karkabi, 59.

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