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Of Sand or SoilGenealogy and Tribal Belonging in Saudi Arabia$
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Nadav Samin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164441

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164441.001.0001

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Parallel Migrations, Divergent Destinations

Parallel Migrations, Divergent Destinations

Chapter:
(p.136) Chapter Five Parallel Migrations, Divergent Destinations
Source:
Of Sand or Soil
Author(s):

Nadav Samin

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691164441.003.0006

This chapter investigates the role of race in Saudi narratives of tribal authenticity by focusing on two stories of migration from a common point of origin, the villages and grazing lands south of Medina. The parallel migrations are rooted primarily in the collective memories of two kin groups: the Shubūl and the descendants of one Hasan al-Nuʻaymī who are now living in the western Arabian oasis town of al-ʻUlā. After discussing the genealogical politics of al-ʻUlā, the chapter explores how the intense pressure to claim affiliation with historically recognized Arabian tribes plays out in al-ʻUlā. It shows that the people of al-ʻUlā are (ironically) constituted more “tribally” than many bedouin- origin Saudis who assert nominal tribal identities across the kingdom's atomized spaces.

Keywords:   race, tribal authenticity, Medina, migrations, Shubūl, Hasan al-Nuʻaymī, al-ʻUlā, genealogical politics, Arabian tribes, tribal identities

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