Bedouin Pride
by
'Abd al-MuTTalab al-Jamaa'i

Our poet was born in the second decade of the 19th century, in the central region of Libya, between the city of Sirt and al-Jufra region. He lived in various areas around Libya before immigrating to Egypt with his maternal uncle Abu Khzaam al-Lehaiwi. After his uncle was killed (for reasons unknown) Mr. al-Jamaa'i returned to al-Jufra region, where he settled mostly in the town of Waddaan, but also spent some time near Hoon. He died in the area of Bishr, on his way to Ejdabya, and was buried there in 1890.

Mr. al-Jamaa'i wrote excellent Bedouin poetry. Here, we have selected the first and last segments from a long poem called "arHam booy khallani hawawi," written in the mid 1800's. The two segments are representative of the poet's expressions of Bedouin pride and wisdom.

[Source: diwaan al-shi'r al-sha'bi, Vol. 1, Gar Younis University Publications, 1977, pp. 29-48.]

Poem Graphic