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The Black Tents of Arabia by Carl Raswan

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(My Life Amongst the Bedouins)

By Carl R. Raswan



'My soul is bound up in this romantic "Arabia Deserta." The great peace and calm of the Arabian wilderness holds me in thrall-that tremendous quietude, which on the last day of the creation must have brooded over the whole world. In the desert I breathe freely and the accumulated ballast of civilized life falls away, like a great burden from off the shoulders. Even now I am astounded to think how little man really needs to be happy, and how carefree one is with nothing but the merest necessities of life.
My expeditions into the desert and my life amongst the Arabs were not prompted by scientific aspirations; the Arab horse was the lodestone... It was not even the call of adventure which led my footsteps into the wilder parts of the Near East, but just the love of horses and in particular of the splendid Arab horse. So intense was (and is) my passion for this noble animal, that I wished to meet him in his native pastures and there learn his history and the secrets of his breeding; and, if there was a secondary interest, it was to enquire into the wanderings of the Bedouin tribes... I claim one thing, however, that during my sojourn in Arabia, I lived entirely as a Bedouin. I had never any need to deny my race or my creed amongst the Arabs. I was never once the butt of their mockery or scorn, or suffered at their hands any discourtesy'

Certainly no contemporary writer or Arabian horse fancier has more first hand experience with the vanishing nomadic Arab culture than Carl Raswan. Black Tents recounts his periodic adventures, which spanned over twenty six years, wandering with the herdsmen and mounted raiders.

Hard cover book in good condition, normal aging dust jacket very poor, copyright 1935, this is the 1947 Creative Press reissue, 206 pages, illustrated with wonderful photos that were taken by the author