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Learn about Arabia

Glossary


A

Allah
God

aquifer
an underground store of water.

Arabia
a peninsula in S/W Asia, bounded to the north by Iraq and Jordan, homeland of the Arabs, historic centre of Islam.

Arabia Felix
the name given to southern Arabia by the Romans at a time when frankincense made the local people amongst the richest in the world.

Arabic
the language of the Arabs, spoken by some 150 million people throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

arid
a very dry place, with little rainfall or moisture.


B

Bedouin
a nomadic Arab of the desert.


C

caravan
a group of people travelling together through the desert.


D

dhow
an Arabic sailing ship.

dhub
a large lizard.


E

Eid
feasts marking the end of Ramadan and the Hajj.

exploration
the act of travelling through an unfamiliar area in order to learn about it.


F

fauna
to do with animals.

flash flood
a flood caused by a sudden downpour in the desert.

flora
to do with plants.

frankincense
an aromatic gum taken from a tree, burnt and used in ceremonies. The best frankincense comes from southern Arabia.


G

GCC
the Gulf Co-operative Council.

GPS
Global Positioning System, an accurate worldwide navigation system that uses orbiting satellites.

geology
the study of rocks.


H

Hajj
the Muslim pilgrimage to Makkah.

hazard
a potential source of danger.


I

Islam
the Muslim religion.


J

jebel
a mountain, or range of mountains.


 

.

L

leadership
the action of leading a group of people or an organisation.

lunar month
a month measured between new moons (approximately 291/2 days).

lunar year
a period of twelve lunar months (approximately 354 days).


M

majlis
a meeting room.

meteorite
a piece of rock that has fallen to the earth's surface from outer space.

muezzin
caller of the prayer from the minaret.

Muslim
a follower of Islam.


N

navigation
the process of working out your position and accurately following a route.


O

oasis
a place of available water in an otherwise arid area.

OPEC
the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

ornithology
the study of birds.


P

peninsula
an area of land that is almost surrounded by water.

permeable
allows water to pass through it.

pilgrim
a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious purposes.


Q

Qu’uran
the holy book of Islam.


R

Ramadan
the ninth month of the Muslim year, during which strict fasting between sunrise and sunset is observed.

risk
a situation involving exposure to danger.


S

sabkha
a salt flat.

saluki
a hunting dog.

sextant
an instrument used to measure angles, used by old explorers to work out where they were.

shamal
a hot dry wind in Arabia, usually blowing from the north, often causes sandstorms.

sheikh
a tribal leader.

souq
a market place.

survival
continuing to live despite difficult conditions.


U

uninhabited
a place where no-one lives.


W

wadi
a dry river-bed.

wilderness
a large area with little or no sign of human activity.


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