I have seen some of the most magnificent scenery in the world, and lived amongst tribes who are interesting and little known, but none of these places have moved me as did the deserts of Arabia …
TE Lawrence of Arabia
Shepherds were a class apart. For the ordinary Arab, the hearth was a university, about which their world passed, and where they heard the best talk, the news of their tribe, its poems, histories, love tales, lawsuits and bargainings. By such constant sharing in hearth councils they grew up masters of expression, dialecticians, orators, able to sit with dignity in any gathering, and never at a loss for moving words.
‘The harder the life, the finer the person. In the desert I found a freedom unattainable in civilization; a life unhampered by possessions’….
‘The Rub Al Khali! A teasing mistress, that beckons only to forbid.’
I shall always remember how I was humbled by those illiterate herdsmen who possessed, in so much greater measure than I, generosity and courage, endurance, patience and lighthearted gallantry. Among no other people have I felt the same sense of personal inadequacy’