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March 23 , 2008

Bedouin Justice


Published in 1925, this is an absolute gem of a book. From the author's preface: "In the following chapters I have tried, by quoting lawsuits of all kinds, and explaining the means employed to dispose of them, to show first the conditions under which the Bedouin live, and secondly their mentality and point of view. Although the reader may possibly gather from the pages that follow that I have a real affection for the Bedou himself and admiration for most of his laws and customs, I have tried to represent his character in full, with all his faults and failings. Descriptions of particular cases have been purposely introduced, showing unmistakably that Bedouin Law is no more infallible than any other law, and that in some cases justice is not done. But in the aggregate, it will be found that the Bedou with all his faults is a very loveable person, and his code of laws and customs is remarkable for its practical common sense."

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