This book is about the land and people of parts of the interior of Syria and Jordan. At the beginning of the nineteenth century most of the people were nomads and only a small proportion of the land was cultivated. Today nomads are few, peasants are numerous and nearly all the land that will bear a crop is under cultivation. This study shows how the present situation came about as the state extended and strengthened its hold on the countryside, the economy of the country developed, landlords and peasants took up hitherto uncultivated land and nomads settled down to become farmers. The concluding chapters discuss the effects of population growth, mechanised farming and overgrazing on the semi-arid environment and its inhabitants. Norman Lewis combines geographical, historical and ethnographical material derived from an immense variety of sources, including unpublished manuscripts and fieldwork undertaken over a period of forty years.
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- Date Published: March 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521103275
- length: 268 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
- weight: 0.4kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: the Badiyah and the transitional zone
1. Nomads, villagers and the desert line about 1800
2. The Euphrates valley, the Fid'an and the Turks 1840–1900
3. Settlement in the province of Aleppo 1831–1914
4. Settlement in central Syria 1848–1920
5. Jabal ad Duruz
6. Circassians and Chechens
7. The Bani Sakhr
8. The Muhayd shaykhs and the Fid'an in the twentieth century
10. The badiyah today
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