The Tribal Customs of the Bedouin of the Western Egyptian Desert
Samieh Abdel Ghaffar (Egypt)
Those people have participated in making this history with several roles. These roles have later defined the right of every tribe in drafting the rules which govern the relation between the individuals and the communities. Consequently, after surpassing the grievances of the war and skirmishes between them and the tribes of the Libyan al_Harabi, every tribe has a role assigned to her to take care of. The researcher summarizes the issues of the customs of the Bedouin in the following:
1) The history which the tribes of Awlad Ali, sons of Ali which starts since their settlement in Bargah up to their compulsory displacement after their conflict with al-Harabi tribes, is a major factor in the establishment of Awlad Ali customs. This history has imposed the strength of the warrior on these customs. Moreover, this history assigned on these tribes certain roles appropriated with their potentialities and qualifications.
2) Several factors have shaped customs that could cop with the environment and ascertain the necessity of the solidarity of the tribes against several hazards of the environment.
3) Arbiters play the major role in settling disputes. There is a strict specialty for every part of the conflict. Such an specialty remarkably helps settling disputes and make the adversaries oriented towards the custom which is in harmony with their image of the solutions.
4) According to these customs the criteria of the prestige of any individual is what he owns. Any harm to any individual is considered a serious violation to these customs.
5) Moreover, robbery according to these customs is a very serious crime and is severely punished to ascertain that it is not going to take place once more. The punishment is to pay compensation four times what is stolen, and the criminal is forced to swear four times. This punishment is meant to make the individual self dependent, consequently becoming useful for himself and for the community as well.