National Geographic : 1966 Dec
balancing burdens on their heads, and you have the scene that met the eyes of Abram as he passed by. We stopped at one such village and stood at a respectful distance waiting to be invited in. One does not approach a village of the fellahin (peasants) or the black tents of the Bedouin without proper welcome and escort. The people would resent it; the dogs would prevent it. Soon the sheik of the village came up to us. After an exchange of formal greet ings, he led us to the village guesthouse. On the way a young teacher in Western dress turned to me and asked: "Why do you take pictures here? This is 750 only a village of poor people living in the old way. In the towns you can see cement build ings with many glass windows and modern furniture, as in your country. All that is much more interesting! Do not show old ways." The theme was to become a familiar one. "But the old ways interest people in our country," I told him. "Besides, the old ways are the ways of the man we follow." "What man is that?" "Abraham. In Arabic, Ibrahim Khalil 'Abraham the Friend.' The Friend of God." In the guesthouse court our host offered us a big bowl of fermented sheep's milk and watched with pleasure as we drank deeply from it. Arab hospitality is both formal and genuine, and is not to be refused.