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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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

27.5114102, 41.7208243

Wed. March 4 [4 March 1914] News has come through Arabs that Ibn
Sha'lan retreated east before Ibn Rashid and the latter took Jof [Jawf,
Al (Al Jauf)] without a shot fired. 'Ali says that the Ruwalla did not wish
Ibn Sha'lan to hold Jof as it is a constant source of dispute. At 11
came Sa'id al Muhammad the 'abd and Muhammad [space left
blank] and said I could not go till news came from the Amir. I replied
that I was sated with Hayyil [Hail] and wished for the road. That I
asked of Ibrahim nothing but a rafiq. Said said Ma yesir. I then went
down and called up M al M [Muhammad al Ma'rawi] and 'Ali and the
conversation was repeated. I reiterated my request for a rafiq and
they their refusal. They then left and I sent 'Ali to his uncles to find out
what was in their mind. He returned with his cousin 'Abdallah ibn
Muhammad (Muhammad was killed by the Sa'ud faction in 'Anezeh.)
Ali came to F. [Fattuh]'s tent and said his uncles were of opinion that
the talk meant nothing but politeness. I hope it may be so. I then went
and talked to Abdallah. He said 'Anezeh was founded in his
grandfather's time. Some shepherds were pasturing their flocks there
and a goat scratched up the soil and water was found. The town is
called after the 'anz. At 6 came a man and an invitation from the
Harem. I dined and went through the moonlit streets. We turned to the
left from the qasr gate and I was greeted by Turkiyyeh, who took me
into a big roshan where I found the {wife} mother of Sa'ud, Mudi who
was married to Muhammad before she married Abd al Aziz. A very
pretty woman, in a gown of Indian brocade and a black scarf over her
head. Sa'ud's two boys, much bejewelled, dressed in Indian
brocades, with wondering big kohl blackened eyes, were brought to
see me. Also a small sister with ropes of uneven pearls hanging from
her cap. A very pretty girl, one of Sa'ud's wives, very shy; dressed in
brilliant brocades with a gold embroidered scarf over her head. An
old sister of Abd al Aziz also and the other Circassian, younger and
prettier than Turkiyyeh. Lots of other women, one very elaborately
dressed and jewelled may have been another wife of Sa'ud's.
Turkiyyeh, sitting before me, was Tarjman. We had tea and coffee,
sweetmeats - those I bought! - with sweet lemons and citrons and
pomegranates. Then more coffee. They asked me to repeat some
of the Injil in English and I recited Blessed are the pure in heart and
translated. Then Turkiyyeh took me into a little inner garden, with a
citron and lemons hanging over a tank. So back and took my leave
after the 'ad. I was then taken into the roshan of Sa'ud where I found
M al M and Sa'id the eunuch. There is a band of entrelac and
inscriptions high up on the wall, worked in juss and painted brown and
white. So through a court where there were 4 small cannon to see
Muirah, widow of Hamud and wife of Sa'ud. She has a small son and
there was with her the small son of Mit'ab. Turkiyyeh came here too.
Muirah is also pretty, round faced. So home. The whole scene was
exactly like the Arabian Nights. The big roshans all carpeted, the
women in their brilliant clothes, the slave girls and a few slave boys.
The great columned rooms have a considerable splendour of size
and space.

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