The Arab Town of Ranyah

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Excerpt from the book Harem Girl:

In late afternoon of the second day, our destination came into welcomed view as we crossed over the brow of the last of many tiresome dunes. Spread before us was the town of Ranyah , shimmering in the heat. It was surprisingly green and lush, with at first clusters of fine houses and buildings, which gradually gave way to smaller well worn ones at the center. I saw people moving about, passing in and out of the cool dark shadows cast by the colorful awnings of the souk and market square.
Beyond the town, away from the far side of it, was a large encampment of tents of all sizes and colors, swarming with men, camels and horses. Ali pointed out our encampment, a large colorful tent surrounded by several smaller black ones. It was set higher on the flat crest of the hill, separated from the rest.
We rode down the dusty main street, gathering a following of barking stray dogs and shouting children as we went past the usual amenities of an important town: the souk, market square, a large inn, the adjacent brothel, and a large outdoor meeting area set under a canopy of lowto the encampment, shedding our uninvited followers as the town receded behind us, but not before Ali halted and cast a handful of coins into a small sea of outstretched hands. “Share them equally between you,” he said.


Ranyah

The colorful souk and market square of an Arab town


2006-12-07

2006-12-07