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Bedouin

Nomadic Arab tribes / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Bedouin, Beduin, or Bedu (/ˈbɛduɪn/;[24] Arabic: بَدْو, romanized: badū, singular بَدَوِي badawī) are pastorally nomadic Arab tribes[25] who have historically inhabited the desert regions in the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, the Levant, and Mesopotamia.[26] The Bedouin originated in the Syrian Desert[27] and Arabian Desert but spread across the rest of the Arab world in West Asia and North Africa after the spread of Islam.[28] The English word bedouin comes from the Arabic badawī, which means "desert dweller", and is traditionally contrasted with ḥāḍir, the term for sedentary people.[29] Bedouin territory stretches from the vast deserts of North Africa to the rocky ones of the Middle East.[30][better source needed] They are sometimes traditionally divided into tribes, or clans (known in Arabic as ʿašāʾir; عَشَائِر or qabāʾil قبائل), and historically share a common culture of herding camels, sheep and goats.[30] The vast majority of Bedouins adhere to Islam, although there are some fewer numbers of Christian Bedouins present in the Fertile Crescent.[31][32][33][34]

Quick facts: بَدْو (Arabic) badū, Total population, R...
Bedouin
بَدْو (Arabic)
badū
%22Bedouin_Wedding_Procession%22_in_the_Jerusalem_section_of_the_Pike_at_the_1904_World%27s_Fair.jpg
Bedouin wedding procession in the Jerusalem section of the pike at the 1904 World's Fair.
Total population
25,000,000[1]
Regions with significant populations
Arabian Peninsula, Levant, North Africa
Flag_of_Saudi_Arabia.svg Saudi Arabia2,000,000[1]
Flag_of_Algeria.svg Algeria2,000,000[1]–6,000,000[2]
Flag_of_Iraq.svg Iraq1,500,000[1][6]
Flag_of_Jordan.svg Jordan1,300,000[1]–4,000,000[7]
Flag_of_Libya.svg Libya1,300,000[1]
Flag_of_Egypt.svg Egypt1,200,000[1][8]
Flag_of_Morocco.svg Morocco1,000,000–1,500,000[15]
Flag_of_Sudan.svg Sudan1,000,000[1]
United Arab Emirates UAE800,000[1]
Flag_of_Tunisia.svg Tunisia800,000–2,600,000[16][17]
Flag_of_Syria.svg Syria700,000[1]–2,600,000[18]
Flag_of_Yemen.svg Yemen500,000[1]
Flag_of_Iran.svg Iran500,000[1]
Flag_of_Kuwait.svg Kuwait300,000[1]
Flag_of_Oman.svg Oman250,000[19]
Flag_of_Israel.svg Israel220,000[1]
Flag_of_Lebanon.svg Lebanon200,000[1]
Flag_of_Mauritania.svg Mauritania100,000[1]
Flag_of_Bahrain.svg Bahrain70,000[1]
Flag_of_Qatar.svg Qatar50,000[1]
Flag_of_Palestine.svg Palestine40,000[20]
Languages
Majority: Arabic (Bedouin dialects)
Minority: Mehri,[21][22] Ḥarsusi
Religion
Predominantly Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
Other Arabs and Afro-Asiatic speakers

Source for regions with significant population:[23]
Close
Bedouins in Sinai, 1967
Bedouins in the Sinai Region, 1967

Bedouins have been referred to by various names throughout history, including Arabaa by the Assyrians (ar-ba-ea) being a nisba of the noun Arab, a name still used for Bedouins today. They are referred to as the ʾAʿrāb (أعراب) in Arabic. While many Bedouins have abandoned their nomadic and tribal traditions for a modern urban lifestyle, others retain traditional Bedouin culture such as the traditional ʿašāʾir clan structure, traditional music, poetry, dances (such as saas), and many other cultural practices and concepts. Some urbanized Bedouins often organise cultural festivals, usually held several times a year, in which they gather with other Bedouins to partake in and learn about various Bedouin traditions—from poetry recitation and traditional sword dances to playing traditional instruments and even classes teaching traditional tent knitting. Traditions like camel riding and camping in the deserts are still popular leisure activities for urban Bedouins who live in close proximity to deserts or other wilderness areas.

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