camels


[For Jonathan Swift, whose wit is sorely needed today.]

Imagine the camel deceased
its rotting carcass dry boned
the trek of this ship of the desert now ceased
just a sad-sanded dromedary in the dust.

And Antar’s steed now solid steel
broken down stirrup and token spirit
surrendered to the surreal
covered with dust.

The Bani Toyota now raid us
driven by backward asses
not trying to evade us
but going for bust.

That Dodge Ram runs over the ewe
that Lamborghini in Abraham’s shaking hand
has no clue
but his son must
die too.

Can you cry
for all those driven to despair.

Do you care
for all those who cry.

The last sacrifice is nothing
but roadkill
for the thrill
and that is no accident.

There is an extraordinary collection of 47 Magic Lantern slides from the 1930 Beloit College Logan Museum Expedition to Algeria by George L. Waite, the photographer and cinematographer. This is available in an online collection at the website of the Smithsonian Institution. Click here to access the collection.

(more…)

There are many postcards on the Internet from old Aden under British control. This continues the series with more views of camels and a bullock in Aden.

to be continued… for #11, click here.

There are many postcards on the Internet from old Aden under British control. This continues the series with views of the camel caravans that came to Aden.

to be continued… for #10, click here.


Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914)

The American admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan is often noted as the man who coined the phrase “Middle East.” After he served in the U.S. Navy on the Union side, he sailed to Hong Kong and passed by the port of Aden in 1867. His comments are brief and reflective more of his own biases than anything significant about Aden. He does provide an interesting description of camels. His narrative is available on archive.org, but I attach here the relevant pages on Aden.

The photographs here were taken of camels and people in Libya around 1957 by Dr. Virgil Clift.

[Tabsir Redux is a reposting of earlier posts on the blog, since memories are fickle and some things deserve a second viewing. This post was originally made on April 27, 2013]

A tribute to even more camels of old Aden …

to be continued… for #5, click here.

Scenes from Sheikh Othman …

to be continued… for #3, click here.

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