chapter  17
Profits to the Bedouins Before and After the Construction of the Hejaz Railway
Pages 3

We have already mentioned that the tribes of Banu Sakhr and Wuld ‘Ali, [all] Syrian Bedouins, carry loads for the government from Muzayrib to Ma‘an. These amount to 200 [camel-]loads of supplies. Their fee is 4 mejidis [per load]; their total fee for bringing these supplies from Muzayrib to Ma‘an is 800 mejidis. In addition, they carry 200 loads for the merchants, but this is at the rate of 3 mejidis [per load], amounting to a total fee of 600 mejidis. The authorities leave half their loads in Ma‘an. The tribe of Banu ‘Atiyya takes [the other] 300 loads belonging to the government and the merchants from Ma‘an to Mu‘azzam. This fee is 4 mejidis [per load], or a total of 1,200 mejidis. Then the tribes of Labida, Abu [Banu] Shama, and Harabsha carry 400 loads [increased through trading?] from Mu‘azzam to Jadid. Their fee is 4 mejidis [per load], making a total of [150] 2,600 [sic for 1,600] mejidis. The authorities leave a part [in storage] at Jadid for the return trip. The Banu Sakhr and [other] riders in the caravan carry along the rest of the loads. Sometimes the Ahrash carry this from ‘Aqaba to Medina. Among

these loads there are the water bags, named ifaza, sent over by the authorities; these are to donate water to the poor, the military, and others, in those places where one knows by experience there is no water. Altogether, the Bedouins of Syria earn 4,000 [57‘c] mejidis from the fees for [carrying loads on] their camels in the Syrian caravan from Damascus to Medina. They make absolutely no other profit, unless the caravan chances to pass by their homes or near them. Then, if it is spring time, they sell [the caravan] laban, samn, and young sheep; but they sell these in small quantities, which do not merit consideration.