Request a high resolution copy

Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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

28.7033755, 42.3101743

Wed. March 11. [11 March 1914] We got off very early, before sunrise and went on our way by the khall. Innumerable tu'us to the right called the Mejlis and in the middle of the morning the Nefud [Nafud, An] rather big, but nothing like the deep gu'urah of the W. side. The horseshoes here point S. We saw locusts flyings and hawks (bashiq (eh)) eating them. 'Ali much wanted to hunt some for roasting. He says they are like prawns. At 10.45 the Nefud grew much smaller, with patches of jelad between the sand banks. Also the pasturage better; hammat and sabat greening and plenty of white and yellow daisies besides the purple silih. We caught sight of the Um[?] dulla al Jibelli which lies E. of Haiyaniyyeh [Hayyaniyah, al] before we camped. Marched well today. Mashkhur has been to Mashhad [Najaf, An] with the bairek of the Hajj. He and 'Ali talked today of the Amir's bairek and Mashkhur declared that the Amir's followers round it reached for a day's journey before and behind. Last night we talked of express trains and how they passed through mts. Mashkhur opined that they must be better than the babord of the Sultan and asked why we did not give him such. We talked also of aeroplanes and wireless telegraphy and Mashkhur called upon his God at my reports. Fellah. Tel and telephones I believe for I have seen them with my eyes, but the tel without khait that I cannot believe. I said messages might be passing over our heads at that moment. 2 Sinjara passed the night with us coming from the Amir and going to fetch kiswa from Hayyil [Hail]. They talked of the taking of Jof [Jawf, Al (Al Jauf)] and of the Ruwalla. "I take refuge in God" said the elder man, lifting up his hand. "They are our enemies. They took 20 of our maidens." I subsequently asked 'Ali what he meant. He said when Nuri took Jof he slew a number of the inhabitants and destroyed their houses and carried off some of their daughters. The Amir has this time slain noone but his people have eaten their crops and plundered a good deal. I observed that the Jofiyyin had no fun either way. "They are between the devil and the jinn" said Ali. Mashkhur calls to prayer every sunset and Fellah gets up and joins him. I hear his call to prayer at dawn. They kneel down first and wash their hands in sand but he does not take off his abba.

IIIF Manifest