Tales of the Badia - Bedouin Folk Tales from Lebanon


Out of Stock at Heinrich Boell Middle East office in Beirut - Can be ordered from Libraries

“We in Lebanon have become blind to anything that is not organized according to the sectarian order. We recognize communities, but only in as much as they can be placed within confessional system. All other people who live in Lebanon and who may or may not carry the Lebanese citizenship, are transparent: we look straight through them and we do not see them.”

Bedouins are a group of people whose livelihood is centered on raising livestock, and herding them. The conditions of the Badia impose a constant movement of people and animals. This travel is not for leisure or by habit but a necessity imposed by the life of Badia and the need to always find new pastures for the sheep. They are ruled by a tribal system specific to them a by a tribal identity built around customs and traditions no one can circumvent. They rarely abide by the rule of the state and by its laws.

This book, written by a woman of the Bedouin community in the Lebanese Bekaa valley, is a compendium of some of the Bedouin tales (Sawalef) orally transmitted in the Abu Eid community. The tales are recounted in Bedouin dialect. By making public some of the oral history of that community, the books sheds light on the life of the marginalized Bedouins of Lebanon.

The book, printed in Arabic and English, also includes an audio compact disc.


Written by Hamra Abu Eid, edited and translated by Rami Zurayk, and published with the support of Heinrich Böll Stiftung-Middle East Office

To listen to the stories click here.


Product details
Date of Publication
July, 2010
All rights reserved
Language of publication