, singular بَدَوِي
, singular בֶּדוּאִי
) are nomadic Arab
tribes who have historically inhabited the desert regions in the Levant
, the Arabian Peninsula
, and North Africa
However, the Arabian Peninsula is the historic and original homeland of the Bedouin Arabs. The English word bedouin
comes from the Arabic badawī
, which means "desert dweller", and is traditionally contrasted with ḥāḍir
, the term for sedentary people
Bedouin territory stretches from the vast deserts of North Africa to the rocky sands of the Middle East
They are traditionally divided into tribes, or clans (known in Arabic as ʿašāʾir
), and historically share a common culture of herding camels and goats.
The vast majority of Bedouins adhere to Sunni Islam
, although there are some fewer numbers of Christian Bedouins
present in the Fertile Crescent
Bedouins have been referred to by various names throughout history, including Arabaa
by the Assyrians
being a nisba
of the noun Arab
, a name still used for Bedouins today) and Shasu
by the ancient Egyptians
They are referred to as the ʾAʿrāb
) in Arabic
While many Bedouins have abandoned their nomadic and tribal traditions for a modern urban lifestyle, many retain traditional Bedouin culture such as retaining the traditional ʿašāʾir
clan structure, traditional music
, poetry, dances (such as saas
), and many other cultural practices and concepts. 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.
A widely quoted Bedouin apothegm is "I am against my brother, my brother and I are against my cousin, my cousin and I are against the stranger"
sometimes quoted as "I and my brother are against my cousin, I and my cousin are against the stranger."
This saying signifies a hierarchy of loyalties based on the proximity of some person to oneself, beginning with the self
, and proceeding through the nuclear family
as defined by male kinship, and then, in principle at least, to an entire genetic or linguistic group (which is perceived as akin to kinship in the Middle East and North Africa generally). Disputes are settled, interests are pursued, and justice and order are dispensed and maintained by means of this framework, organized according to an ethic of self-help and collective responsibility (Andersen 14). The individual family unit (known as a tent or "gio"[clarification needed] bayt
) typically consisted traditionally of three or four adults (a married couple plus siblings or parents) and any number of children.
When resources were plentiful, several tents would travel together as a goum
. While these groups were sometimes linked by patriarchal lineage, others were just as likely linked by marriage alliances (new wives were especially likely to have close male relatives join them). Sometimes, the association was based on acquaintance and familiarity, or even no clearly defined relation except for simple shared membership within a tribe.
A Bedouin girl in Nuweiba
, Egypt (2015)
The next scale of interaction within groups was the ibn ʿamm
(cousin, or literally "son of an uncle") or descent group, commonly of three to five generations. These were often linked to goums, but where a goum would generally consist of people all with the same herd type, descent groups were frequently split up over several economic activities, thus allowing a degree of 'risk management'; should one group of members of a descent group suffer economically, the other members of the descent group would be able to support them. Whilst the phrase "descent group" suggests purely a lineage-based arrangement, in reality these groups were fluid and adapted their genealogies to take in new members.
The largest scale of tribal interactions is the tribe as a whole, led by a Sheikh
, literally, "old man"), though the title refers to leaders in varying contexts. The tribe often claims descent from one common ancestor—as mentioned above. The tribal level is the level that mediated between the Bedouin and the outside governments and organizations. Distinct structure of the Bedouin society leads to long-lasting rivalries between different clans.
Weaving lengths of fabric for tent making using ground loom. Palestine, c. 1900
, principally of goats, sheep
and dromedary camels
comprised the traditional livelihoods of Bedouins. These were used for meat, dairy products, and wool.
Most of the staple foods that made up the Bedouins' diet were dairy products.
Camels, in particular, had numerous cultural and functional uses. Having been regarded as a "gift from God", they were the main food source and method of transportation for many Bedouins.
In addition to their extraordinary milking potentials under harsh desert conditions, their meat was occasionally consumed by Bedouins.
As a cultural tradition, camel races were organized during celebratory occasions, such as weddings or religious festivals
Some Bedouin societies live in arid
regions. In areas where rainfall is very unpredictable, a camp will be moved irregularly, depending on the availability of green pasture. Where winter rainfall is more predictable in regions further south, some Bedouin people plant grain along their migration routes. This proves a resource for the livestock throughout the winter. In regions such as western Africa, where there is more predictable rainfall, the Bedouin practice transhumance
. They plant crops near permanent homes in the valleys where there is more rain and move their livestock to the highland pastures.
was the most popular art form among Bedouins. Having a poet in one's tribe was highly regarded in society. In addition to serving as a form of art, poetry was used as a means of conveying information and social control
Raiding or ghazw
The well-regulated traditional habit of Bedouin tribes of raiding other tribes, caravans, or settlements is known in Arabic as ghazw
Murder of Ma'sum Beg, the envoy of the Safavid Shah Tahmasp
, by Bedouins in the Hejaz
, 16th century
Historically, the Bedouin engaged in nomadic herding, agriculture and sometimes fishing in the Syrian steppe
since 6000 BCE. By about 850 BCE, a complex network of settlements and camps was established.
A major source of income for these people was the taxation of caravans, and tributes collected from non-Bedouin settlements. They also earned income by transporting goods and people in caravans pulled by domesticated camels across the desert.
Scarcity of water and of permanent pastoral land required them to move constantly.
The Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta
reported that in 1326 on the route to Gaza
, the Egyptian authorities had a customs post at Qatya
on the north coast of Sinai
. Here Bedouin were being used to guard the road and track down those trying to cross the border without permission.
The Early Medieval
grammarians and scholars seeking to develop a system of standardizing
the contemporary Classical Arabic
for maximal intelligibility across the Arabophone
areas, believed that the Bedouin spoke the purest, most conservative
variety of the language. To solve irregularities of pronunciation, the Bedouin were asked to recite certain poems, whereafter consensus was relied on to decide the pronunciation and spelling of a given word.
Arab Christian Bedouin woman from the settled town of Kerak, Jordan
, who probably was the wife of a sheikh. Braids were predominantly worn by Arab Christian Bedouin women of the tribes of Jordan.
A plunder and massacre of the Hajj caravan
by Bedouin tribesmen occurred in 1757, led by Qa'dan al-Fa'iz of the Bani Sakhr
tribe in his vengeance against the Ottomans for failing to pay his tribe for their help protecting the pilgrims. An estimated 20,000 pilgrims were either killed in the raid or died of hunger or thirst as a result including relatives of the Sultan and Musa Pasha. Although Bedouin raids on Hajj caravans were fairly common, the 1757 raid represented the peak of such attacks which was also likely prompted by the major drought of 1756.
Under the Tanzimat
reforms in 1858 a new Ottoman Land Law
was issued, which offered legal grounds for the displacement of the Bedouin (Turkish
: Bedeviler). As the Ottoman Empire gradually lost power, this law instituted an unprecedented land registration process that was also meant to boost the empire's tax base. Few Bedouin opted to register their lands with the Ottoman Tapu
, due to lack of enforcement by the Ottomans, illiteracy, refusal to pay taxes and lack of relevance of written documentation of ownership to the Bedouin way of life at that time.
At the end of the 19th century Sultan Abdülhamid II
settled Muslim populations (Circassians
) from the Balkan
among areas predominantly populated by the nomads in the regions of modern Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine, and also created several permanent Bedouin settlements, although the majority of them did not remain.
Ottoman authorities also initiated private acquisition of large plots of state land offered by the sultan to the absentee landowners (effendis
). Numerous tenants were brought in order to cultivate the newly acquired lands. Often it came at the expense of the Bedouin lands.
Palestine Exploration Fund list of Bedouin tribes living West of the River Jordan in 1875.
In the late 19th century, many Bedouin began transition to a semi-nomadic lifestyle. One of the factors was the influence of the Ottoman empire
who started a forced sedentarization
of the Bedouin living on its territory. The Ottoman authorities viewed the Bedouin as a threat to the state's control and worked hard on establishing law and order in the Negev
During the First World War
, the Negev Bedouin initially fought with the Ottomans
against the British
. However, under the influence of British agent T. E. Lawrence
, the Bedouins switched side and fought against the Ottomans. Hamad Pasha al-Sufi (died 1923), Sheikh of the Nijmat sub-tribe of the Tarabin
, led a force of 1,500 men who joined the Ottoman raid on the Suez Canal
historiography, the Negev Bedouin have been described as remaining largely unaffected by changes in the outside world until recently. Their society was often considered a "world without time."
Recent scholars have challenged the notion of the Bedouin as 'fossilized,' or 'stagnant' reflections of an unchanging desert culture. Emanuel Marx
has shown that Bedouin were engaged in a constantly dynamic reciprocal relation with urban centers.
Bedouin scholar Michael Meeker explains that "the city was to be found in their midst."
In the 20th century
Ghazzu was still relevant to the Bedouin lifestyle in the early 20th century. On his stay with Sheikh Mithqal Al-Fayez
of the Bani Sakher
, William Seabrook
in 1925 , he writes about his experience in a ghazzu from the Sardieh tribe on Mithqal's 500 Hejin Racing Camels, however they were intercepted in by Mithqal prematurely as he was notified about their intentions from a man from the Bani Hassan tribe who rode continuously for over 30 hours to reach Mithqal before their plot matured. Mithqal, using the information prepared a trap for them, which managed in imprisoning one of the Sardieh warriors. William notes that although was the warrior a prisoner, he was nonchalant and wasn't treated aggressively, and that ghazzu wasn't war but a game where camels and goats are the prizes.
Bedouin mothers carrying their children on their shoulders. Color photo taken in the late 19th century by the French photographer Félix Bonfils
Later in the 1950s and 1960s large numbers of Bedouin throughout Midwest Asia started to leave the traditional, nomadic life to settle in the cities of Midwest Asia, especially as hot ranges have shrunk and populations have grown. For example, in Syria
, the Bedouin way of life effectively ended during a severe drought from 1958 to 1961, which forced many Bedouin to abandon herding for standard jobs.
Similarly, governmental policies in Egypt
, oil-producing Arab states of the Persian Gulf
as well as a desire for improved standards of living, effectively led most Bedouin to become settled citizens of various nations, rather than stateless nomadic herders.
Governmental policies pressing the Bedouin have in some cases been executed in an attempt to provide service (schools, health care, law enforcement and so on—see Chatty
1986 for examples), but in others have been based on the desire to seize land traditionally roved and controlled by the Bedouin. In recent years, some Bedouin have adopted the pastime of raising and breeding white doves
while others have rejuvenated the traditional practice of falconry
In different countries
The Arabian Peninsula
is the original home of the Bedouin. From there, they started to spread out to surrounding deserts, forced out by the lack of water and food. According to tradition, the Saudi Bedouin are descendants of two groups. One group, the Yemenis, settled in the Southwestern Arabia, in the mountains of Yemen, and claim they descend from a semi-legendary ancestral figure, Qahtan
). The second group, the Qaysis
, settled in North-Central Arabia and claimed they were descendants of the Biblical Ishmael
A Bedouin family in Wahiba Sands, Oman
A number of additional Bedouin tribes reside in Saudi Arabia. Among them are the, Anazzah
, Qara, Mahra
, Harasis, Dawasir
, Subaie, 'Utayba
, Bani khalid
. In Arabia and the adjacent deserts there are around 100 large tribes of 1,000 members or more
. Some tribes number up to 20,000 and a few of the larger tribes may have up to 100,000 members
. Inside Saudi Arabia the Bedouin remained the majority of the population during the first half of the 20th century. However, due to change of lifestyle their number has decreased dramatically.
According to Ali Al-Naimi
, the Bedouin, or Bedu, would travel in family and tribal groups, across the Arabian Peninsula
in groups of fifty to a hundred. A clan was composed of a number of families, while a number of clans formed a tribe. Tribes would have areas reserved for their livestock called dirahs, which included wells for their exclusive use. They lived in black goat-hair tents called bayt al-shar, divided by cloth curtains into rug-floor areas for males, family and cooking. In Hofuf
, they bartered their sheep, goats and camels, including milk and wool, for grain and other staples. Al-Naimi also quotes Paul Harrison's observation of the Bedouin, "There seems to be no limit at all to their endurance."
Syrian bedouin, 1893
Although the Arabian desert was the homeland of the Bedouin, some groups have migrated to the north. It was one of the first lands inhabited by the Bedouin outside the Arabian desert.
Today there are over a million Bedouin living in Syria, making a living herding sheep and goats.
The largest Bedouin clan in Syria is called Ruwallah
who are part of the 'Anizzah' tribe. Another famous branch of the Anizzah tribe is the two distinct groups of Hasana and S'baa who largely arrived from the Arabian peninsula in the 18th century.
Herding among the Bedouin was common until the late 1950s, when it effectively ended during a severe drought from 1958 to 1961. Due to the drought, many Bedouin were forced to give up herding for standard jobs.[better source needed]
Another factor was the formal annulling of the Bedouin tribes' legal status in Syrian law in 1958, along with attempts of the ruling Ba'ath Party
regime to wipe out tribalism. Preferences for customary law ('urf) in contrast to state law (qanun) have been informally acknowledged and tolerated by the state in order to avoid having its authority tested in the tribal territories.
In 1982 the al-Assad
family turned to the Bedouin tribe leaders for assistance during the Muslim Brotherhood
uprising against al-Assad government (see 1982 Hama massacre
). The Bedouin sheikhs' decision to support Hafez al-Assad
led to a change in attitude on the part of the government that permitted the Bedouin leadership to manage and transform critical state development efforts supporting their own status, customs and leadership.
Israel and Palestine
Bedouin women smoking, Galilee, 1935
Grinding corn & bread making 1935
Weaving on ground loom 1930
Ploughing (Negev) 1920
Palestinian bedouin 1930
Bedouin, Beit She'an, 1920
Bedouin encampment in the Negev Desert
Prior to the 1948 Israeli Declaration of Independence
, an estimated 65,000–90,000 Bedouins lived in the Negev
desert. According to Encyclopedia Judaica
, 15,000 Bedouin remained in the Negev after 1948; other sources put the number as low as 11,000.
Another source states that in 1999 110,000 Bedouins lived in the Negev, 50,000 in the Galilee and 10,000 in the central region of Israel.
All of the Bedouins residing in Israel were granted Israeli citizenship in 1954.
The Bedouin who remained in the Negev belonged to the Tiaha
as well as some smaller groups such as the 'Azazme
and the Jahalin
. After 1948, some Negev Bedouins were displaced. The Jahalin
tribe, for instance, lived in the Tel Arad
region of the Negev prior to the 1950s. In the early 1950s, the Jahalin were among the tribes that, according to Emanuel Marx
, "moved or were removed by the military government".
They ended up in the so-called E1
area East of Jerusalem
Three bedouin sheikhs, c. 1867-1876
About 1,600 Bedouin serve as volunteers in the Israel Defense Forces
, many as trackers in the IDF's elite tracking units.
Famously, Bedouin shepherds were the first to discover the Dead Sea Scrolls
, a collection of Jewish texts from antiquity, in the Judean caves of Qumran
in 1946. Of great religious, cultural, historical and linguistic significance, 972 texts were found over the following decade, many of which were discovered by Bedouins.
Successive Israeli administrations tried to demolish Bedouins villages in the Negev. Between 1967 and 1989, Israel built seven legal townships in the north-east of the Negev, with Tel as-Sabi
or Tel Sheva the first. The largest, city of Rahat
, has a population of over 58,700 (as of December 2013);
as such it is the largest Bedouin settlement in the world. Another well-known township out of the seven of them that the Israeli government built, is Hura
. According to the Israel Land Administration (2007), some 60 per cent of the Negev Bedouin live in urban areas
The rest live in so-called unrecognized villages
, which are not officially recognized by the state due to general planning issues and other political reasons. They were built chaotically without taking into consideration local infrastructure. These communities are scattered all over the Northern Negev and often are situated in inappropriate places, such as military fire zones, natural reserves
On 29 September 2003, Israeli government
adapted a new "Abu Basma Plan" (Resolution 881), according to which a new regional council was formed, unifying a number of unrecognized Bedouin settlements—Abu Basma Regional Council
This resolution also regarded the need to establish seven new Bedouin settlements in the Negev,
literally meaning the official recognition of unrecognized settlements, providing them with a municipal status and consequently with all the basic services and infrastructure. The council was established by the Interior Ministry
on 28 January 2004.
Israel is currently building or enlarging some 13 towns and cities in the Negev. According to the general planning, all of them will be fully equipped with the relevant infrastructure: schools, medical clinics, postal offices, etc. and they also will have electricity, running water and waste control. Several new industrial zones meant to fight unemployment are planned, some are already being constructed, like Idan haNegev
in the suburbs of Rahat.
It will have a hospital and a new campus inside.
The Bedouins of Israel receive free education and medical services from the state. They are allotted child cash benefits, which has contributed to the high birth rate among the Bedouin
of 5% per year.
But unemployment rate remains very high, and few obtain a high school degree (4%), and even fewer graduate from university (0.6%).
In September 2011, the Israeli government approved a five-year economic development
plan called the Prawer plan
. One of its implications is a relocation of some 30.000-40.000 Negev Bedouin from areas not recognized by the government to government-approved townships
In a 2012 resolution the European Parliament called for the withdrawal of the Prawer plan and respect for the rights of the Bedouin people.
In September 2014, Yair Shamir, who heads the Israeli government's ministerial committee on Bedouin resettlement arrangements, stated that the government was examining ways to lower the birthrate of the Bedouin community in order to improve its standard of living. Shamir claimed that without intervention, the Bedouin population could exceed half a million by 2035.
A young Bedouin lighting a camp fire in Wadi Rum
Most of the Bedouin tribes migrated from the Arabian Peninsula to what is Jordan today between the 14th and 18th centuries.
Often they are referred to as a backbone of the Kingdom,
since Bedouin clans traditionally support the monarchy.
Most of Jordan's Bedouin live in the vast wasteland that extends east from the Desert Highway.
The eastern Bedouin are camel breeders and herders, while the western Bedouin herd sheep and goats. Some Bedouin in Jordan are semi-nomads, they adopt a nomadic existence during part of the year but return to their lands and homes in time to practice agriculture.
The largest nomadic groups of Jordan are the Bani Ṣakher
(Amman and Madaba) Banū Laith ( Petra, and Banū al-Ḥuwayṭāt (they reside in Wadi Rum
There are numerous lesser groups, such as the al-Sirḥān, Banū Khālid, Hawazim, ʿAṭiyyah, and Sharafāt. The Ruwālah (Rwala) tribe, which is not indigenous, passes through Jordan in its yearly wandering from Syria to Saudi Arabia.
The Jordanian government provides the Bedouin with different services such as education, housing and health clinics. However, some Bedouins give it up and prefer their traditional nomadic lifestyle.
In the recent years there is a growing discontent of the Bedouin with the ruling monarch Abdullah II of Jordan
. In August 2007, police clashed with some 200 Bedouins who were blocking the main highway
between Amman and the port of Aqaba. Livestock herders were protesting the government's lack of support in the face of the steeply rising cost of animal feed and expressed resentment about government assistance to refugees.
events in 2011 led to demonstrations in Jordan, and Bedouins took part in them. But the Hashemites
did not see a revolt similar to turbulence in other Arab states. The main reasons for that are the high respect to the monarch and contradictory interests of different groups of the Jordanian society. The King Abdullah II maintains his distance from the complaints by allowing blame to fall on government ministers, whom he replaces at will.
A group of Bedouins with their tent
In the 11th century, the Bedouin tribes of Banu Hilal
and Banu Sulaym
, who originated from Syria and North Arabia respectively,
living at the time in a desert between the Nile
and the Red Sea
, moved westward into the Maghreb areas and were joined by a third Bedouin tribe of Maqil
, which had its roots in South Arabia.
The vizier of the caliph
chose to let go of the Maghreb
and obtained the agreement of his sovereign. They set off with women, children, camping equipment, some stopping on the way, especially in Cyrenaica
, where they are still one of the essential elements of the settlement, but most arrived in Ifriqiya
by the Gabes
armies were defeated in trying to protect the walls of Kairouan
, Bedouin Arabic dialects are spoken in plains and in recently founded cities such as Casablanca
. Thus, the city Arabic dialect shares with the Bedouin dialects gal
'to say' (qala); they also represent the bulk of modern urban dialects (Koinés
), such as those of Oran
Bedouins making bread in Egypt
Bedouins in Egypt mostly reside in the Sinai peninsula and in the suburbs of the Egyptian capital of Cairo.
The past few decades have been difficult for traditional Bedouin culture due to changing surroundings and the establishment of new resort towns on the Red Sea coast, such as Sharm el-Sheikh
. Bedouins in Egypt are facing a number of challenges: the erosion of traditional values, unemployment, and various land issues. With urbanization and new education opportunities, Bedouins started to marry outside their tribe, a practice that once was completely inappropriate.
Bedouins living in the Sinai peninsula did not benefit much from employment in the initial construction boom due to low wages offered. Sudanese and Egyptian workers were brought there as construction labourers instead. When the tourist industry started to bloom, local Bedouins increasingly moved into new service positions such as cab drivers, tour guides, campgrounds or cafe managers. However, the competition is very high, and many Sinai Bedouins are unemployed. Since there are not enough employment opportunities, Tarabin Bedouins, as well as other Bedouin tribes living along the border between Egypt and Israel, are involved in inter-border smuggling of drugs and weapons,
as well as infiltration of prostitutes and African labour workers
In most countries in the Middle East, the Bedouin have no land rights, only users' privileges,
and it is especially true for Egypt. Since the mid-1980s, the Bedouins who held desirable coastal property have lost control of much of their land as it was sold by the Egyptian government to hotel operators. The Egyptian government did not see the land as belonging to Bedouin tribes, but rather as state property.
In the summer of 1999, the latest dispossession of the land took place when the army bulldozed Bedouin-run tourist campgrounds north of Nuweiba as part of the final phase of hotel development in the sector, overseen by the Tourist Development Agency (TDA). The director of the Tourist Development Agency dismissed Bedouin rights to most of the land, saying that they had not lived on the coast prior to 1982. Their traditional semi-nomadic culture has left Bedouins vulnerable to such claims.
The Egyptian Revolution of 2011
brought more freedom to the Sinai Bedouin, but since it was deeply involved in weapon smuggling into Gaza after a number of terror attacks on the Egypt-Israel border a new Egyptian government has started a military operation in Sinai in the summer-fall of 2012. The Egyptian army has demolished over 120 tunnels leading from Egypt to Gaza that were used as smuggling channels and gave profit to the Bedouin families on the Egyptian side, as well as the Palestinian clans on the other side of the border. Thus the army has delivered a threatening message to local Bedouin, compelling them to cooperate with state troops and officials. After negotiations, the military campaign ended up with a new agreement between the Bedouin and Egyptian authorities.
Tribes and populations
Map of the Bedouin tribes in 1908
There are a number of Bedouin tribes, but the total population is often difficult to determine, especially as many Bedouin have ceased to lead nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyles. Below is a partial list of Bedouin tribes and their historic place of origin.
- Otaibah Tribe is a large Arabian Tribe centering Arabia from Hijaz Province (Place of Origin) to Najd Province. The Tribe is found mainly in The Arabian Peninsula in countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE.
- The Harb tribe is a tribe in Saudi Arabia and Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula.
- Beni Sakher in Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. Families in the tribe such as the Al-Fayez and the Al-Khreisheh represent the tribe in Jordan and hold the most political power in the country after the Hashemites.
- Banu Hilal, some tribes of this confederation are Bedouin, they live in western Morocco, central Algeria, southern Tunisia and Eastern Desert and others steppe of the region.
- Banu Sulaym, Big tribes, the Sulaym in the east (Libya and southern Tunisia), present in Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Syria.
- 'Anizzah, some tribes of this confederation are Bedouin, they live in Northern Saudi Arabia, Western Iraq, the Persian Gulf states, Syrian steppe and in Bekaa.
- 'Azazme, Negev desert and Egypt.
- Beni Hamida, east of Dead Sea, Jordan.
- Banu Yam centered in Najran Province, Saudi Arabia and Iraq
- Dulaim, a very large and powerful tribe in Al Anbar, Western Iraq.
- al-Amad (alAmad, Al Amad, Al-Amad family) of al-Umdah clan ("The Mayors Tribe"), one of the smaller yet prominent tribes of the Arabian Peninsula. Mostly scattered across Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Palestine and United Arab Emirates. This tribe is also associated with Samaritan ancestry (Samaritans).
- al-Abadi "Abadi clan" mostly based in Jordan. Very well respected across the country with influential positions in the Army and national services.
- al-Duwasir, also known as al-Dousari located south of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as well as in Qatar.
- Ghamid, large tribe from Al-Bahah Province, Saudi Arabia, mostly settled, but with a small Bedouin section known as Badiyat Ghamid.
- al-Hadid, large Bedouin tribe found in Iraq, Syria and Jordan. Now mostly are settled in cities such as Haditha in Iraq, Homs & Hama in Syria, and Amman in Jordan.
- al-Howeitat, one of the largest tribes in Jordan (al-Hesa).
tribe has deep roots in the Umayyad and Abbassid dynasties.
- Bani Khalid one of the Bedouin tribes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt and Syria.
- al-Marri, tribe or al Murr are one of the largest and powerful tribes of the Arabian Peninsula covering Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.
- al-Mawasi, a group living on the central Gaza Strip coast.
- Maqil, found in the maghreb in which some sub-tribes have a strong presence in Algerian/Moroccan western Sahara and in Mauritania
- Muzziena tribe in Dahab and South Sinai (Egypt).
- Shahran (al-Ariydhah), a very large tribe residing in the area between Bisha, Khamis Mushait and Abha. Al-Arydhah 'wide' is a famous name for Shahran because it has a very large area, in Saudi Arabia.
- Shammar, a very large and influential tribe in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Jordan. Descended from the ancient tribe of Tayy from Najd
- Subay', central Nejd.
- Tarabin—one of the largest tribes in Egypt (Sinai) and Israel (Negev).
- Tuba-Zangariyye, Israel near the Jordan river cliff in the Eastern Galilee.
- Al Wahiba, a large tribe in Oman residing in the Sharqiya Sands, also known as the Wahiba Sands
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bedouins
- ^ Losleben, Elizabeth (2003). The Bedouin of the Middle East. Lerner Publications. pp. 4–5. ISBN 978-0-8225-0663-8. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
- ^ Suwaed, Muhammad (2015). Historical Dictionary of the Bedouins. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 7. ISBN 9781442254510. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
- ^ Iraqi Census Takers To Focus On Bedouin (2010): https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.rferl.org/a/Iraqi_Census_Takers_To_Focus_On_Bedouin/2041952.html
- ^ Bedouin Census in Iraq (2011): https://web.archive.org/web/20210401113948/https://www.alwatanvoice.com/arabic/content/print/185818.html
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- ^ a b Jaussen, Father Antonin (1 January 1904). "English: Jordanian Bedouin Christians 1904 2" – via Wikimedia Commons.
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