THE EGYPTIAN BEDOUINS AND THE 'UR � B � Y � N (1882)* BY ALEXANDER SCHÖLCH Our knowledge of the history of the Egyptian Bedouins in the nineteenth century is rather meagre and vague.' Very little is known about their social and political role, while the sources don't agree even as to their numbers. Kremer reported 28,000 men fit to bear arms living East of the Nile and 14,000-15,000 men in the Libyan Desert.2 The Guide Général d'Égypte of 1868 gave the number of the Egyptian Bedouins as 400,000 (8% of the total population),' whereas Lane-Poole4 and Wallace 5 spoke of only 100,000 Bedouins. According to Vogt there were 50 different tribes, altogether 7,000 horsemen and 35,000 armed men on foot. The general census of 1897 resulted in the following figures: 70,472 "real Bedouins or nomads", 240,880 "living among the fellahin", and 290,095 "settled and living in their own farm colonies". These figures, however, were regarded as much too high.' * The following abbreviations are used: WThU Watha'iq ath-thaura al-'uräbiya, D5r al-Watha'iq, Cairo; M7"/!!7 Makhtutat ath-thaura al-'urabiya, Dar al-Watha'iq, Cairo; V.A. Vienna Archives, Copies in the Dar al-Watha'iq, Cairo; F.O. 78 Foreign Office, Series 78, Public Record Office,
Die Welt des Islams – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1976
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