We invite you to enjoy part 4 of the 12 part Distant Arabia video series. The majority of the film clips are comprised of films taken in Saudi Arabia between 1937 and 1940 by Tom Barger, Les Snyder and Jerry Harriss. They are among the few moving pictures that record that critical and brief moment in the country's history when an ancient pastoral way of life was coming to an abrupt end, to be replaced by an industrial society. Many of the Bedouin depicted had never seen an automobile let alone a movie camera before these men arrived. The herds of camels, once the lifeblood of Bedouin life, would become irrelevant. The dhows of the Gulf replaced by motor launches, the date oases, the very anchor of the Al Hasa economy, would become all but insignificant. All that remains of those days are these flickering images from a time before oil.
Distant Arabia part 4 - Bahrain in 1938 In 1938, Bahrain was the undisputed commercial center of the Gulf. Its suqs were the best stocked of any place between Basra and Bombay. In contrast, the Bedouin of Al Hasa lived a simple life in tents and dependent on their camels. AT 0:15 a newborn camel starts life on wobbly legs. At 0:48 a camel herd passes in Hofuf. At 1:12 a donkey is lead through the streets of Bahrain. At 1:38 oil men tour the suqs of Bahrain. At 1:50 a donkey bearing firewood passes an Indian policeman in downtown Bahrain.
CHRISTMAS in KHOBAR
More Stories – Tim Barger
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