By Edouard Aldahdah
Posted on November 22nd, 2014 in General
During the Blunt’s visit to Jeddah around Christmas of 1880,
“Wilfrid has met a man who came from Sana and told him that at some distance from Sana in the interior there are the Beni Husayn, Mohammed Bedouins who catch wild horses. They live in the district called Jofr [correction: it’s actually Jof] el Yemen and are very ‘adroit’ in riding….” [Lady Anne Blunt Journals and Correspondence, December 24, 1880]
I am in Sana (San’aa) the capital of Yemen for two weeks, and although I am locked up in my work’s office and adjoining guest house for security reasons, it is the occasion for me too tell you about these Bedouins of Yemen:
As Lady Anne wrote, these are the Dhu Husayn, an offshoot of the Dhu Mohammed, who hail from the large Yemeni tribal confederation of Bakil. Their tribal area is in Jawf/Jof el Yaman (the reference to Yemen is to differentiate it from the other Jawf/Jof of North, which is in Northern Saudi Arabia, just to the South of Jordan), to the north east of Sana.
My colleague (a Senior Water Specialist at the World Bank office in Sana), Naif Abu Luhoum, is the from the chieftain family of the Dhu Husayn, and a nephew of the tribe’s leader, Sinan Abu Luhoum, who is at about 95 is still alive and retired in Cairo. The leading family was called “Abu Luhoum” (father of meats) for its legendary generosity and hospitality, as meats — a contrast with the Bedouin diet of camel milk and dates — were always served to guests.
Tomorrow, Naif will introduce me to one of the tribe’s historians (who also happens to manage the National Water Institute here) and I am going to ask him about this wild horses business. I am curious to see if any of that lore has survived well into the XXIst century.