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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper

18.169689, 42.78714

Tues Feb 17 [17 February 1914] The slopes of sand are nazi', nuzu'.
The low sand banks khabb, khubab; the paths round the slopes of a
ga'r are khall, khulul. We struck camp early and no sooner was the
men's tent down than it began to rain. We marched and were
presently overtaken by a torrent. The clouds hung low over the sand
hills like fog and 'Awwad declared he could not see the alama or
know the road. I knew by the compass that we were all right and we
went on, skirting round immense ga'rs. Some were whitened at the
bottom where rain water had lain. The clouds lifted a little and we
went on but at 8.15 it began to rain again and it was clear that more
storms were coming up behind us. We pitched the men's tent and
lighted a fire by which we dried ourselves. Heavy rain fell. The sun
came out but another storm followed and I gave up hopes of further
marching. We pitched all the tents. The rain fell in heavy bouts till
past 1, with thunder and hail. Said Ghadi This is a feast day 'and al
Arab. 'Awwad. The shaikhs sacrifice a camel. The unwedded girl will
marry today. After this rain there will be mara' for 3 months. They say
that in a week's time the 'aislib will have grown a foot high and all the
trees will be green. The leafless white sapped tree is muti' I think I
named it wrongly before. (No, right. The small one is muti, the big
one girdi, and there is a middle one called 'addam). About 3 the sun
came out and it was hot and stuffy. The rain clouds hung close round
'Irnan, but Misma' [Misma, Jibal] was clear. The sand smelt delicious
after the rain and was hard to walk on. A pool lay in a neighbouring
ga'r. At 5 the clouds blew up from the NW I watched the rain storms
sweeping over 'Irnan and it fell again on us heavily. Inshallah 'ala kull
al dunya! said the dripping men this morning. I read Hamlet which
brought the world back into perspective. 'Uqub bachir = day after
tomorrow. Neqotar = we journey, walk

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