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When the mother says hiss she means keep still, no more foolishness. If a child finds his task hard, he often slaps his fingers together and says e-e-ee.
Syrian boys and girls learn proverbs or mottoes. Among those they know are : “A little wealth in the hand [gathered) is better than much wealth scattered about [loaned]”; “If you think of the wolf, get the stick ready for him”; “The good of things is in moderation" (Prov. 25). The girls like this proverb, "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness" (Prov. 31. 26). The boys enjoy this one, “Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard” (Prov. 21. 13). 1. Describe a vineyard in Palestine and compare it with one in
France or in the United States. 2. Each member of the class learn a Biblic&i proverb not given
in this chapter and repeat it for the opening exercises at
your next lesson period. 3. Find a description in the Old Testament of the entertainment
of strangers (Genesis). 4. What is meant by the expression “entertaining angels una
wares” (Gen. 18)? 5. Find a description in the Bible of an Oriental wedding.
ARABIA, ITS PRODUCTS AND CENTERS OF TRADE
ARABIA, one of the three large land masses that extend southward from the main body of Asia, has much in common with its sister peninsula, Spain.
Each is situated in the southwestern part of its continent and separated from Africa at one point by a narrow strait. At this place in each country is a strongly fortified town owned by the British with the purpose of controlling their route to India. Highlands hinder trade and transportation in these two peninsulas. Both have in most parts very dry and disagreeable climates. The Mohammedans ruled Spain for centuries; they still control Arabia, the stronghold of their religion.
THE “ISLAND OF THE ARABS”
Jeziret-el-Arab, the "Island of the Arabs," is an island in truth except along its northern arched boundary. It is washel by the waters of the Red and Arabian seas and by the Persian, Oman, and Aden gulls. This huge land mass bas about one third the area of the United States. Its entire population is equal to that of the city of Philadelphia, or about one person to a square mile of territory!
A dry tableland. The long, regular coast of Arabia has very few harbors.
In the southwest is a narrow, low, dry, sandy plain. Back of this plain is a highland which runs parallel with the Red Sea at a distance of from fifty to eighty miles. This highland rises to a height of from 5,000 to 8,000 feet. Its mountain tops stretch far away into a great interior plateau, which slopes gently eastward almost to the shores of the Persian Gulf. The little explored interior is a vast tableland containing many fertile sections. Oases here and there are fed by underground streams. Only a small portion of the country has enough moisture for cultivation. If water were available, two thirds of the land could be cultivated. The irreclaimable desert lies chiefly in the southern part.
Climate and drainage.- The coast is the least attractive part of the peninsula. The natives have a saying that “Arabia, like the Arab, has a rough, frowning exterior, but a warm, hospitable heart.” The southern latitude of the country is that of Nicaragua and the northern that of northern Texas. The naturally high temperature is increased on the coast by humidity caused by the enormous evaporation of water in the landlocked seas that surround most of the country. The seaport
. of Muscat, situated beneath bare cliffs which radiate the heat, is said to be the hottest place on earth. The seaport of Mocha on the opposite side of the country has almost the same temperature. The thermometer often registers 100 degrees in the shade on the Arabian plains. All northern Arabia has cold winters and occasional frosts.
Not a single stream more than a few feet wide drains the entire country, a stretch of sixteen hundred miles. Arabia possesses but one small lake. A traveler may go over one hundred miles without seeing a house or a tree, and several times that distance without meeting a person. In the southern part of Arabia is a region over six hundred miles wide where no man travels, as it contains practically no drinking water. 1. Compare the area and population of Arabia with that of your
own State. Look on a wind-belt map of the world to see what winds blow
over Arabia. Why has it such a disagreeable climate? 3. What effect have the surface and climate on the development
of the country?
RESOURCES AND PRODUCTS
The chief resources of Arabia are its soil for agriculture and grazing, its position for trade, and its sacred Mohammedan cities, which are thronged with pilgrims annually.
Gold of ancient days. Some mineral deposits are known to exist. In King Solomon's reign the queen who ruled Sheba, a province of southeastern Arabia, made a visit to Jerusalem. “And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon" (1 Kings 10. 10). The Queen of Sheba may, however, have obtained some of her precious gifts from India, with which the people of southeastern Arabia have carried on trade for centuries.
Where men go down into the deep. The most celebrated pearl fishing banks of the world extend 300 miles along the sandy coast of Arabia on the Persian Gulf. The center of the industry is the Bahrein Islands, which lie near the shore. About $1,000,000 worth of pearls are secured annually and much mother-of-pearl is exported. The oyster from which the pearl is secured is larger than the one we use for food. Men go out in boats and often remain on the water several days at a time. The diver is almost naked. He carries a bag fastened around his waist in which to put the oysters. A long knife in a sheath is attached to his arm. This knife is for defense against sharks, which are numerous in the waters. The divers earn about fifty cents a day for their dangerous and exhausting work.
Other products.—Many horses, camels, mules, and sheep are raised. Arabian horses are noted all over the world for
their beauty, docility, endurance, and speed. Those from · Nejd, where the best animals are raised, are smaller than Amer
ican horses. They can travel long distances without water,
and often go twenty-four hours in summer and forty-eight hours in winter without drinking.
In the fertile valleys in Yemen, wheat, corn, barley, millet, and coffee are cultivated. Yemen is justly noted for its coffee, of which only a small quantity is produced. The tree blossoms in March, and the first crop of berries is picked in May and the second and third crops later in the year. The coffee for export is put into bags and shipped from Aden. Mocha, from which Mocha coffee gets its name, is no longer a center of the industry. Fruits, such as oranges, lemons, figs, pomegranates, bananas, dates, and plums are raised there, as well as indigo and some sugar cane. In the oases, temmin, which is similar but much inferior to rice, is raised. Here also we find dates, grapes, plums, citrons, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, and pumpkins, besides many food plants that are new to us.
Perfumes, medicines, and gums.- The Bedouins sell civet from the civet cat, and musk, which they obtain from the muskdeer, to the traders. Many aromatic and medicinal plants abound in Arabia. Among them are the lavender, wormwood, and jasmine. Khat leaves are chewed universally by men, women, and children in Yemen. It is a stimulant, and the natives call the plant the “flower of paradise.” It is to them what opium is to the Chinese.
Many gums and resins are found here, of which gum arabic, myrrh, and frankincense are perhaps the most familiar to us. The "wise men from the East” when they came to worship the Holy Babe “presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt. 2). Nicodemus “brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight," to be used in preparing the body of the beloved Christ for the tomb (John 19. 39). Frankincense has been used for incense in places of worship for many centuries. God commanded Moses to prepare it for burning in the tabernacle set up in "The Wilderness" of this very country (Exod. 30. 34).