Glossary

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1924 ARTICLE INTRO
SENUSSIS
SIWA
AMERICAN SHEIK
THE SANDSTORM
THE CARAVAN
JALO
BIBO
TEA AND RICE
LEADERSHIP
HELPING BIRDS
TRAGEDY
KUFRA
DESERT CHIVALRY
SLAVES
THE UNKNOWN
CAMEL AND MAN
EXTREMES
NIGHT TREKS
BY THE STARS
OUENAT
ROCK CARVINGS
END OF JOURNEY
Glossary
Editors Notes

 

The article assumed certain knowledge of terms that Ahmed Bey has had little time to explain in this article. So we'll include few here. If you like to add to it, please email me.

Here's a table of the entries:
Libyan Desert

Arabic Desert (a.k.a. Eastern Desert)
Berbers
Pictographs
Cyrenaica (a.k.a. Eastern Libya)
Bedouin

Libyan Desert

Not only in Libya as some might think. It includes the entire Western Desert of Egypt too. The Libyan Desert seems to be between latitudes of 15 and 30 North and longitudes of 15 and 30 East where Kufra oasis is approximately at its center. In ancient Egypt, it may have been the label for the entire Sahara bordered by Nile on the east and the Atlantic at the west. Libya is actually an ancient Egyptian word meaning the 'Berber Desert' (Libu is a name of a Berber tribe in ancient Egypt) that has been popularized by Ptolemy of Alexandria to Muslims and the West. In contrast, the Egyptian word for Eastern Desert is 'Arabic Desert' because it was void of Berbers and seemed to have been occupied by Semitic (Arabic) Bedouins throughout the millennia. Libyan and Arabic Desert have been in use since ancient times. Egyptian Government may have changed the name (perhaps during British occupation) because the word Libyan and Arabic took new meanings upon drawing new borders and to emphasize the Egyptian control on the two deserts away from the Ottomans.

See Arabic Desert, and Berbers

 

Arabic Desert (a.k.a. Eastern Desert)

Rather than the flat and vast Western Desert dotted by oases, the Eastern Desert is mountainous with long beaches on Red Sea. Both Arabic Desert (al-sa7ara2 al-3arabeya) and Eastern Desert are names by the Egyptian governments in ancient times as well as now. Geographically (by scientists) it's part of the Red Sea desert stretched from Sinai to Somalia with similar mountainous nature and changing tribes from region to another. Although the Arabic part of this desert is evident in its northern stretches, the southern parts are occupied by Beja (Beshareya and Ababda tribes) who are neither ethnically nor culturally Arabic.

See also, Libyan Desert

 

Berbers

People who speak an Afro-Asiatic language called Tamazight (like the language of Siwans). Famous Berbers are Zeinedine Zeidane, Tarek Ibn Zeyaad, elZanati Khalifa, and all your friends from Siwa. Berbers occupy all the land from Egyptian Western Desert to Morocco and are a hybrid of races themselves (black and Germanic blondes perhaps from prehistorical times). Most of the 'Oases' in Western Desert are previously Berbers who converted to Arabic language in the last few hundred years. Only Siwa remained out of the Nile Valley influence because of its relative remoteness. Their language along with Semitic (both seem to come from same root called Afro-Asiatic family of languages) are the major components of the ancient Egyptian language. Examples of Siwi language are like "I Love You" "nish ikhsashem", "bread" "tghara", "one" "ejnii", "two" "sen", "water" "amaan" and "Hi" "tel-7al-nek".

 

Pictographs

Rock-art

 

Cyrenaica (a.k.a. Eastern Libya)

This is the Roman/Byzantine name for eastern half of Libya today. Although this seems to have extinct in native languages, the name persists in many European languages that even today some Western scholars still use in their scientific writing to indicate Libyan tribes. The Western half was called Tripolitania during Roman times and was extended to Tunisia.

See also Berber, Libyan Desert.

 

Bedouin

Mainly used for nomads of Arabia and North Africa (you don't hear of Australian Bedouins). There are two ways of using the word. One in existing lifestyle and another of lineage (ancestral heritage). That should explain why some sedentary villagers who work with agriculture or trade are still called Bedouins (3arab-7eitaan in Egypt and ahl-alQura in Quran) although they are not nomads at all. "ahl-al-wabar" in Arabia and "3arab-elkheish" in Egypt are other synonyms. Other spellings in English are Bedawin, and Beduin.

 

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