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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
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1 entry, paper

23.885942, 45.079162

Thurs. Feb. 5. [5 February 1914] The sand hills were all frosted this morning. They rise to sharp ridges like snow aretes and fall steeply on the W. side. We crossed the Tu's of the Nuqrah, long lines of dunes, apparently continued in the Tu's al Swaiwineh. At 8.15 we had the broken tells of the Swaiwinat al Howi in front of us. We marched over a stretch of da', absolutely barren and got into the tells at 9.30 marching pretty direct onto the Qulaib al Swaiwinah which I photographed. Here we found rain water pools in the hollow places of the sandstone slabs. At 11.32 we came out of this low ground and saw Mlaih to the SE. It consists of a table topped hill which is my bearing here 135 and is also the hill onto which I took all former bearings of Mlaih. Further E. a large table topped hill, the middle of which is my bearing here 126; and finally a tell (119?) called Barud al Mlaih. The well is somewhere under the middle hill but there is also water in the Barud. At 1.25 we came into camp in the W. Fajr [Fajr, Wadi] where there are plenty of rain water pools due to the rain of 3 days ago - thank goodness - and plenty of trees, green. The Fajr goes past a big khabra (I think further W) al Howi, from which the Sherarat drink all the summer if there have been good rains; it ends in the W. Sirhan [Sirhan, Wadi]. The Sherarat with us are miserably poor. A starving woman and boy came begging for some flour today. The Arab children found Hanqal[?] gourds in the valley and played with them. Ghadi and one of the Sherarat went off to scout[?] for bakr but found none. On the da' we saw round hollow patches, the threshing floors of the Sherarat wherein they beat out the semh seeds. They are about the size of a round soldier's tent.

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