Magazine article Geographical

Bedouin at Al-Hinnah, near Thaj, Arabia, 1911

Magazine article Geographical

Bedouin at Al-Hinnah, near Thaj, Arabia, 1911

Article excerpt

This image was taken by William Henry Irvine Shakespear, a remarkable Indian-born diplomat who played a pivotal role in Middle Eastern politics while serving as the British political agent in Kuwait between 1909 and 1914. During this period, he mounted several expeditions into the Arabian interior, often in an eight-horsepower, single-cylinder Rover that he had bought for 250 [pounds sterling] in Karachi in 1907 to drive through Persia, Turkey and Europe to England. Using a camera that required the glass plates to be developed on site often in a white tent with an annexed bathroom-cum-darkroom--he took some of the earliest photographs of the Arabian Peninsula, including this shot of Bedouin at a watering hole. Shakespear greatly admired the Bedouin and spent time with them learning to ride camels, to hunt with falcons and other kinds of desert craft. However, he's best known for facilitating an alliance between Britain and Ibn Sa'ud, the Emir of Njad, against Ibn Rashid and the Ottoman Empire. …

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