Do you know who is the father of the Arabs?
The same man who is the father of the Jews.
What, was Abraham their father?
Yes, he was.
Do you remember Abraham’s ungodly son, Ishmael?
He was cast out of his father’s house for mocking
his little brother
Isaac, and he went into Arabia.
And what sort of people are the Arabs?
Wild and fierce people.
Travellers are afraid of passing through Arabia, lest the Arabs should rob and murder them; and no one has ever been able to conquer the Arabs. The Arabs are very proud, and will not bear the least affront. Sometimes one man says to another, “The wrong side of your turban is out.” This speech is considered an affront never to be forgotten. The Arabs are so unforgiving and revengeful that they will seek to kill a man year after year. One man was observed to carry about a small dagger. He said his reason was, he was hoping some day to meet his enemy and kill him.
Of what religion are this revengeful people? The Mahomedan.
Mahomed was an Arab. It is thought a great honor to be descended from him. Those men who say Mahomed is their father wear a green turban, and very proud they are of their green turbans, even though they may only be beggars.
THE ARABIAN WOMEN.—They are shut up like the women in Syria when they live in towns, but the women in tents are obliged to walk about; therefore they wear a thick veil over their face, with small holes for their eyes to peep out.
The poor women wear a long shirt of white or blue; but the rich women wrap themselves in magnificent shawls. To make themselves handsome, they blacken their eyelids, paint their nails red, and wear gold rings in their ears and noses. They delight in fine furniture. A room lined with looking-glasses, and with a ceiling of looking-glasses, is thought charming.
ARAB TENTS.—They are black, being made of the hair of black goats. Some of them are so large that they are divided into three rooms, one for the cattle, one for the men, and one for the women.
ARAB CUSTOMS.—The Arabs sit on the ground, resting on their heels, and for tables they have low stools. A large dish of rice and minced mutton is placed on the table, and immediately every hand is thrust into it; and in a moment it is empty. Then another dish is brought, and another; and sometimes fourteen dishes of rice, one after the other, till all the company are satisfied. They eat very fast, and each retires from dinner as soon as he likes, without waiting for the rest. After dinner they drink water, and a small cup of coffee without milk or sugar. Then they smoke for many hours.
The Arabs do not indulge in eating or drinking too much, and this is one of the best parts of their character.