The Peasantry of Palestine; The Life, Manners and Customs of the Village by Elihu Grant

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Elihu Grant
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1907 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER VI THE BUSINESS LIFE OF THE VILLAGE The Palestine peasant can do hard work. When half starved, anemic, hounded and terror-stricken he naturally enough fails to be as brisk and as inventive as he might otherwise be, but with half a chance he is industrious and thrifty. There are the lazy and the active as in other countries. As a general rule it might be said that the Palestinian is accustomed to work hard, but not steadily; liking to rest occasionally, not understanding, nor benefiting by, a system of sharp espionage or, more properly, "nagging." This latter frets him and destroys his efficiency, and ought not to be practised on him. A good-natured firmness that holds him to the letter of agreements in simple, plainly understood terms is much better. The country life of Western Palestine to-day is organized on the basis of farming. The original estate of the Arab is to own flocks and tents, with the auxiliary pastimes of raiding and hunting. This life is represented to-day by the nomad tribes of the Syrian desert and of Arabia. They still roam over Eastern Palestine and penetrate into Western Palestine, but their range is being narrowed in these regions by the pressure of the Turkish government, which is organizing the country more closely in favor of its own authority. The transition stage between herding and agriculture may be seen in the Jordan Valley and eastward, where the nomads and the village peasants go into partnership together to raise grain. Ordinarily a desert nomad scorns the farmer and villager, but there are Bedawin farmers who are a sort of industrial bridge between the civilization of the villagers and the primitive freedom of the dwellers in tents farther east and south.1 The breeding of horses and camels falls...


The Peasantry of Palestine; The Life, Manners and Customs of the Village

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