ARABIA PICTURED /"'•CHILE
A A.E. -» S.M. ZWEME-
' t N
fcibrarp of Che Cheoio^icai ^eminarp
PRINCETON • NEW JERSEY
Del avail L # Pier son
D. L. Pi]
BROOKLYN, N. Y.
SFH il IMhi
AMY E. ZWEMER
Fleming H. Revell Company
NEW YORK CHICAGO TORONTO
Copyright, 1902 by
Fleming H. Revell Company
BRAUNWORTH & CO.
BOOKBINDERS AND PRINTERS
BROOKLYN, N. Y.
To the Boys and Girls \^
Who are Helping to Turn the World
This is a book of pictures and stories for big children and
small grown-up folks; for all who love Sinbad the sailor
and his strange country. It is a topsy-turvy book; there
is no order about the chapters; and you can begin to read
it anywhere. It is intended to give a bird's-eye view to
those who cannot take birds' wings. The stories are not
as good as those of the Arabian Nights but the morals are
better — and so are the pictures. Moreover the stories are
true. You must not skip any of the chapters or the pictures
but you may the preface, if you like.
j S. M. Z.
Bahrein y Arabia. | A. E. Z.
I. WHY IS ARABIA TOPSY-TURVY LAND? 15
II. A LESSON IN GEOGRAPHY 21
III. THE SQUARE-HOUSE WITH THE BLACK
IV. SABBACH-KUM BIL KHEIR! ' 31
V. AT THE CORNER GROCERY 31
VI. BLIND FATIMAH 43
VII. DATES AND SUGAR-CANE 47
VIII. THE SHEPHERD OF THE SEWING-MA-
IX. THE CHILDREN OF THE DESERT ... 58
X. NOORAH'S PRAYER 64
XI. PICTURES WITH WORDS ONLY ... 69
XII. THE QUEER PENNIES OF OMAN AND
HASSA . . . . o 73
XIII. ARAB BABIES AND THEIR MOTHERS . 79
XIV. BOAT-BUILDERS AND CARPENTERS . 85
XV. ARABIC PROVERBS AND ARABIC HU-
MOUR 9 2
XVI. GOLD, FRANKINCENSE AND MYRRH . 97
XVII. SLAVES AND SLAVE TRADERS . . . 101
XVIII. ABOUT SOME LITTLE MISSIONARIES . . 108
XIX. TURNING THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN, 113
XX. TURNING THE WORLD DOWNSIDE UP, 118
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
ARAB BOYS Facing Title.
MODES OF TRAVEL 16
EUROPEAN VISITORS ON DONKEYS 18
MAP OF ARABIA 23
READY FOR A CAMEL RIDE 24
THE SQUARE HOUSE WITH THE BLACK OVER-
COAT . . 29
SABBACH-KUM BIL KHEIR! 33
ARAB GROCER 38
ARAB BOY IN A CROCKERY SHOP 41
HOW A MOSLEM BOY PRAYS 45
WOMEN SELLING SUGAR-CANE 48
DATES GROWING ON A DATE PALM .... 50
FIRE WOOD MARKET, BUSRAH 52
ARAB RIDERS WITH LANCES 60
PEARL MERCHANTS 62
ARABIAN WATER-BOTTLE* 63
DESIGNS MADE OUT OF ARABIC WRITING . . 70
* From the Sunday School Times, by permission.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
ARABIC LETTER FROM A POOR CRIPPLE ... 72
OMAN COIN 73
HASSA COINS 76
DATE-STICK CRADLE 80
WOMEN GRINDING AT THE MILL 82
BEDOUIN WOMEN EATING THEIR BREAKFAST 84
CARGO BOATS, BAHREIN 86
RIVER BOAT BUSRAH 87
SAWING A BEAM 89
AN ARAB CARPENTER'S TOOLS 90
PUZZLE OF THE THIRTY MEN ....... 96
BRANCH OF THE INCENSE TREE 98
SLAVE GIRL IN ARABIA 102
LIBERATED SLAVES AT BAHREIN 104
MISSION HOUSE AT BUSRAH no
THE SULTAN'S SOLDIERS 114
MUSCAT HARBOUR 122
AN OLD FRIEND IN A NEW DRESS 124
WHY IS ARABIA TOPSY-TURVY LAND?
On this big round earth there are all sorts of countries and
peoples. Men walk on it on every side just like flies crawl-
ing over a watermelon and they do not fall off either. On
the next page you can see how they travel all around the
world; some in steamships, some in carriages or on horses,
some in jinrickshaws and some in the railway coaches. In
Topsy-turvy Land they have no railroads and not even
waggon-roads or waggons. A horse or a camel or a
donkey is used for passengers and the camel caravan is a
Or if you wish, the camel is a topsy-turvy ship which
sails in the sand instead of in the water. It is called the
ship of the desert. The masts point down instead of up;
there are four masts instead of three; and although there
are ropes the desert-ship has no sails and no rudder— unless
the rudder be the tail. When the ship lies at anchor to be
loaded it feeds on grass and the four masts are all snugly
tucked away under the hull. In Arabia you generally see
these ships of the desert in a long line like a naval proces-
sion, each battleship towing its mate by a piece of rope
fastened from halter to tail! But not only is the mode of
travel strange in Topsy-turvy Land, even the time of the
day is all upside down. When the boys and girls of Amer-
ica are going to bed the boys and girls of Arabia are think-
ing of getting up. As early as four o'clock by western time
the muezzin calls out loud from the top of the minaret (for
Moslem churches have no steeples and no bells) to come
and pray. Arabs count the hours from sunrise. It is noon
MODES OF TRAVEL.
at six o'clock and they breakfast at one; at three o'clock in
the evening all good boys and girls are asleep.
In Topsy-turvy Land all the habits and customs are ex-
actly opposite to those in America or England. For instance
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A R A B I A
when a boy enters a room he takes off his shoes but leaves
his hat on his head. I do not know whether we should call
it a hat, however. His hat has no rim and is not made of
felt or straw, but is just a folded handkerchief of a large size
and bright colour with a piece of cord to hold it wound round
his head — a sort of a hat in two pieces. The girls go without
shoes but carefully cover their pretty (or ugly) faces with a
At home you eat with a spoon or use a knife and fork.
Here the Arabs eat with their fingers; nor do they use any
plates or butter dishes, but a large piece of flat bread serves
as a plate until it is all eaten. So you see in Arabia the chil-
dren not only eat their rice and meat but their plates also.
You read a book from left to right but in Arabia everybody
begins at the right-hand cover and reads backward. Even
the lines read backward and in Arabic writing there are no
commas or capitals and the vowels are written not next to
the consonants but stuck up above them. Potato in Arabic
would be written with English letters this way: x T P
Can you read it ?
In your country a carpenter stands at his bench to work,
but here they sit on the ground. With you he uses a vise to
hold the board or stick he is planing; here he uses his bare
toes. With you he pushes the saw or, especially, the plane
away from him to cut or to smooth a piece of wood, but in
Topsy-turvy Land he pulls his tools towards him. Buttons
are on the button-hole side and the holes are where you put
the buttons. Door keys and door hinges are made of wood,
not of iron as in the Occident. The women wear toe-rings
and nose-rings as well as earrings and bracelets. Every-
thing seems different from what it is in a Christian country.
One strange sight is to meet people out riding. Do you
know that the men ride donkeys side-saddle, but the women
ride as men do in your country ? When a missionary lady
first came to Bahrein in Eastern Arabia and the boys saw
her riding a donkey they called out: " Come and see, come
and see! The lady has no feet /" Because they saw only
EUROPEAN VISITORS ON DONKEYS.
one side of her. Then another one called out and said:
" Yes she has, and they are both on this side I "
Another odd custom is that Arabs always turn the fingers
of the hand down as we turn them up in beckoning or call-
ing anybody. Many other gestures seem topsy-turvy as well.
In your country boys learn the lesson of politeness — ladies
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
first; but it is not so over here. It is men first in all grades
of society; and not only men first but men last, in the mid-
dle, and all the time. Women and girls have a very small
place given them in Topsy-turvy Land. The Arabs say
that of all animal kinds the female is the most valuable ex-
cept in the case of mankind! When a girl baby is born the
parents are thought very unfortunate. How hard the
Bedouin girls have to work! They are treated just like
beasts of burden as if they had no souls. They go barefoot
carrying heavy loads of wood or skins of water, grind the
meal and make fresh bread every morning or spin the
camel's hair or goafs hair into one coarse garment. They
are very ignorant and superstitious, the chief remedies for
sickness being to brand the body with a hot iron or wear
charms— a verse from the Koran sewn up in leather or a
string of blue beads, which are supposed to drive away evil
How very thankful girls should be that in all Christian
lands they have a higher place and a better lot than the
poor girls and women of Arabia! For the greatest con-
trast is the religion of the inhabitants of Topsy-turvy
Land. That is all upside down too. The Lord Jesus
teaches us to pray in secret not to be seen of men; we
are to go quietly alone and tell God everything. But
Mohammed, the prophet of Arabia, taught his followers to
pray openly on any street corner, or on the deck of a ship, in
public, just like the Pharisees whom Jesus condemns. And
when these people fast, as they are supposed to for a whole
month, they do not really go without food, but each day at
sunset they begin to eat in larger quantity than usual! — be-
cause they think by such fasting to gain favour with God
and do not know that to fast from sin and evil habits is the
fast God wants. Another thing very sad in this land of
Topsy-turvy is that there are no Sunday-schools — they
do not observe our Sabbath — and the boys and girls do not
have bright Sunday-school lesson leaves or a picture-roll.
They spend Sunday and every other day in learning all the
evil they see in those that are grown up. Poor children!
They have never heard the sweet words of Jesus, " Suffer
little children to come unto me and forbid them not : for of
such is the kingdom of God." We tell you all this about
them that you may pray for them that God may soon send
more missionaries to preach to them these precious words.
We want you all by prayer and offerings to help put a
silver lining in the dark clouds of their lives.
The other chapters in this little book will tell you more
about the land and its people and as you read them do not
forget to pray for them.
If you are faithful and true, always shining for Jesus,
your bright light will reach as far as dark Arabia, and will
help to turn that land of Topsy-turvy right side up. When
joy and gladness will take the place of sorrow and sadness,
and ignorance give way to the knowledge of the Truth. In
one place in the Bible it tells how to make these topsy-
turvy lands right side up again. Do you know where that
is? Acts 17:6, 7. "These that have turned the world
upside down are come hither also . . . saying that
there is another King, even Jesus."
A LESSON IN GEOGRAPHY
In the atlas Arabia looks like a big mail-pouch hung up
by the side of some railway station, pretty empty of
everything. But this queer mail-pouch country is not as
empty as people imagine. It is a country larger than all of
the United States east of the Mississippi. It is longer than
the longest mail-pouch and much wider. From north to
south you can ride a camel one thousand miles and from
east to west more than six hundred. But the geography of
the country is topsy-turvy altogether and that is why it
has been so long a neglected peninsula. People kept on
wondering at the queer exterior of the mail-pouch and
never opened the lock to its secrets by looking into the
First of all, Arabia is perhaps the only land that has three
of its boundaries fixed and the other always shifting.
Such is the case with the northern boundary of Arabia.
It is different on every map and changes every year because
the inhabitants go about as nomads; that is, they "have no
Arabia has no rivers except underground. It has no
railroad and very few roads at all. Some parts of the
country are very green and fertile and in other parts there
is not enough grass the year around to give one square
meal to a single grasshopper. Arabia has four thousand
miles of coast and yet only six harbours where steamers
call. There are better maps of the North Pole and of Mars
and of the moon than of southeastern Arabia. The reason
is that men have spent millions of dollars to find the North
Pole and telescopes are all the time looking at the moon;
but no one has ever spent time or money to explore this
part of Arabia. The Greek geographers had a better
knowledge of Arabia than we have to-day.
There are no lakes in Arabia, but there is a large sea of sand
called Al Ahkaf, in which the traveller Von Wrede threw
a lead and line and found no bottom! No one has been
there since to see whether his story was true. At Bahrein,
in eastern Arabia, there are salt-water wells on shore and
fresh-water springs in the midst of the salt sea from
which water is brought to shore. Arabia has no postage-
stamps and no political capital and no telegraph system.
Different coins from different parts of the world are used in
different provinces. It is a land of contradictions and even
the waters that bound it are misnamed. The Red Sea is
blue; the Persian Gulf has no Persian ships and should be
called an English lake; and the Straits of Hormuz are
crooked. This topsy-turvy land has no political divisions.
Some say it has five and some seven provinces; no one
knows what is its population as no census was ever taken.
In nearly all countries the mountain ranges run north and
south, but in Arabia they run nearly east and west. There
are desert sands six hundred feet deep and mountain peaks
nine thousand feet high. On the coasts it is fearfully hot
and the climate is often deadly. On the highlands it is often
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
MAP OF ARABIA.
bitterly cold; and yet the people are al! of the same race
I and speech and custom and language and religion.
There are no pumps in Arabia, but plenty of wells. There
are no woods in Arabia, but plenty of trees. The camel is a
% 'A .
READY FOR A CAMEL RIDE.
topsy-turvy ship and the ostrich a topsy-turvy bird. The
Arabs call the former the ship of the desert; and the
latter they say is half camel and half bird. In some parts of
Arabia horses and cows are fed on bojled fish because that
is cheaper than grass ! In other parts of the country donkeys
are fed on dates. Arabia has more sultans and princes than
any other country of the same size and yet it is a land with-
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
out a settled government. The people never meet one
another without saying ''Peace to you"; yet there has
never been any peace over the whole land since Christ's
birth or even since the days of Ishmael.
Every one carries a weapon and yet there are very few
wild animals. It is more dangerous to meet a Bedouin
than a lion when you are a stranger on the road. The
Arabs are a nation of robbers. Now you will wonder how
we can also say that Orientals are the most hospitable of
any people in the world for the Arabs are Orientals. And
yet it is strictly true that these robbers are more hospitable,
in a way, than you people of Western countries. They
have a proverb which says that "Every stranger is an
invited guest" ; and another which says, "The guest while
in the house is its lord." If an Arab gets after you to rob
or kill you, it is only necessary to take refuge in his tent for
safety. He is bound then, by the rules of Oriental hospital-
ity, to treat you as his guest. But you must not stay there
too long and you must be careful how you get away! You
will find instances of this respect for the duty of hospitality
all through the Bible story. It was in the earliest Bible
times, as later and as now, a grievous sin to be inhospitable.
The cradle of the Mohammedan religion is Arabia, and yet
in no country are they more ignorant of their religion.
How sad to think that when they do worship God they do
it in such an ignorant and idolatrous way! In our next
chapter we shall see more about this.
Arabia has no national flag, no national hymn and no
national feeling. Every one lives for himself and no one
cares for his neighbour. This does not sound strange of
robbers but it does of people who are so hospitable. This
queer country we are about to visit together and talk over
with each other.
You will not grow weary by the way, we hope. If the
desert tracks are long and tiresome through the following
chapters, just refresh yourself in the oasis of a picture.
THE SQUARE-HOUSE WITH THE BLACK OVERCOAT
You think I am making fun but it is really true that in
western Arabia there is a house that always wears an over-
coat. This is a large, square stone house without windows
and with only one door to let in the light and the air; it is
empty inside, although crowds gather around it as you see
in the picture. Yet this house always has on an overcoat
of black silk, very heavy and richly embroidered. Every
year the old coat is taken off and a new one put on. A
few days ago a Moslem pilgrim showed me a piece of the
cloth of last year's overcoat and he was very proud of it.
It was indeed a fine piece of heavy silk and the names of
God and Mohammed were prettily woven into the cloth.
This man had just come from visiting the square-house and
I will tell you what he saw.
The place he visited with hundreds and thousands of
other pilgrims is called Mecca and the square-house is the
Beit Allah or house of God to all Mohammedans. It is also
called the Kaaba, which is the Arabic word for a cube.
The Moslems believe all sorts of foolish things about the
Kaaba. They say Adam built it as soon as he fell down on
the earth out of Paradise, and that Abraham repaired it
after it had been ruined by the flood in the days of Noah.
They even show a large white stone on which Abraham
and Ishmael stood when they plastered the walls; the stone
still bears the impress of Abraham's feet, they say. Did
you ever hear such a topsy-turvy story ?
The building is about twenty-four cubits long and wide
and nearly twenty cubits high. It has no ornaments or
beauty except one rain-spout to carry the water off the flat
roof; you can see it on the right side of the Kaaba on the
picture. This spout is said to be of pure gold. In one
corner of the building is a large black stone which is also
an object of worship. The Mohammedans say it came down
from heaven with Adam and was once pure white. By the
many kisses of sinful worshippers it has turned black. Not
only is it black but broken. For about three hundred years
after Mohammed's death the stone remained imbedded in
the walls of the Kaaba, but then some wild Arabs from the
Persian Gulf came, sacked Mecca and stole the black stone.
It was carried to Katif, a place near Bahrein, right across
Arabia, and they kept it a long time until the people of
Mecca paid a large sum of money and carried it back. On
the long journey it must have fallen from the camel because,
at present, it is cracked and the broken pieces are held
together by a silver band. There once were a great many
of these stone idols in the Kaaba, but Mohammed de-
stroyed them all except this one when he became master
At present the stone house is empty of idols and yet all
the Moslems turn in the direction of this old heathen temple
to pray. The cloth that covers it comes every year as a
present from the Khedive of Egypt, who is a Mohammedan.
It is very costly and is sent on a special camel, beautifully
decked with trappings of gilt, and a large throng of pil-
grims go along to escort the overcoat.
When the wind stirs the heavy folds of cloth, the pious
boys and girls of Mecca say it is the angels that watch
around the Kaaba, whose wings lift the covering. It must
be a wonderful sight to see thousands of Moslem pilgrims
stand around this place and kneel and pray.
Besides running around the Kaaba, kissing the black
stone and drinking water from a holy well called ^em^em,
they have one day on which they sacrifice sheep or other
animals. One curious custom on this day of sacrifice I must
tell you of. It is called "stoning the great devil." Early
in the morning thousands of pilgrims go to a place in the
valley of Mina where there are three white pillars made of
masonry; the first and largest is called the Great Devil.
The pilgrims cast stones at this pillar. Each one must
stand at the distance of not less than fifteen feet and say,
as he throws seven pebbles: "In the name of God the
Almighty I do this, and in hatred of the devil and his
shame." The Moslems fail to realise that Satan is in the
hearts of men and not behind a pillar, nor that he can be
driven away with prayer better than by pebbles.
For thirteen hundred years Moslems have come every
year to Mecca, and gone away, with no one ever to tell
them of the Son of God, the Saviour of the World. Thir-
teen hundred years! Don't you think it is time to go and
tell them ? And will you not pray that even this place may
open its doors to Jesus Christ, and crown Him Lord of all?
SABBACH-KUM BIL KHEIR!
That is to say, " Good-morning! " And the Arabs in the
picture do not add, "have you used Pears' Soap?" but,
"have you had your cup of Mocha coffee?" Soap is a
luxury in most parts of Arabia and the vast majority of its
inhabitants never use it; millions would not know it if they
saw it. Perhaps the old Sheikh, however, used a bit of
soap to wash his hands and feet early before sunrise when
he went to the mosque to pray. Now he has returned and
sits in the coffee-shop ready to take a sip of coffee and
"drink tobacco" from the long pipe. The Arabs always
speak of drinking tobacco when they mean to smoke; I
suppose one reason is because they use the peculiar water-
pipes with the long stems in which the smoke passes
through the water and bubbles out to the mouth. Have
you time to stop and study the picture with me ?
What a pretty window in the corner! The Arabs call a
window shibaak, which means network, because their
windows are very much like a fish-net. Glass is seldom
used in Arabia except by Europeans and Arabs who have
become civilised; and so the carpenter or joiner fits little
round bars, one into the other, like marbles or beads on a
string and the result is often very beautiful. Light and air
come in (not to speak of clouds of dust) while no one
can look through from the outside; and you know how
afraid Arab girls and women are to show their faces to
Under the arch is the open fireplace where the big coffee-
pots and water-kettles simmer all day on a charcoal fire.
The old man looks quite cheerful seated on his uncomfort-
able stool made of date-sticks. You will read later about
our old friend the date-palm and how the tree is used for
nearly every purpose. I wish I could show you how they
take the thin branches and punch holes in them and then
deftly, before you can count ninety, build together a chair
or a bedstead. I have often slept soundly and safely on
bedsteads made of these thin leaf-sticks no bigger around
than a child's finger. The sticks are full of "spring" so
one does not need a wire mattress, nor have I ever known
one of them, if made honestly, to become a folding bed
under a restless sleeper as they say happens sometimes in
New York hotels!
Although the old man in our picture is waited on by the
younger Arab (who is perhaps the keeper of the cafe), yet
I know he is not rich. Do you notice his toil-worn hands
and the patch on the shoulder of his long overcoat ? I fancy
too his pretty vest, so carefully buttoned by more than a
dozen cloth buttons, is a little torn on one side; nor has he
a fine girdle like the rich shopkeepers.
Extremes meet in the picture and three countries widely
apart on the map are brought close together. Of course,
you know the coffee is the real Yemen article, which coming
SABBACH-KUM BIL KHEIR
first from Mocha on the Red Sea, is still called by that
Arabian name. The curious pipe with its round bottom,
carved head-piece and long stem, is used everywhere in
Arabia and is generally called " nargeelie," which is the
Indian name for cocoanut. The bowl of the pipe is in fact
an empty cocoanut shell; the stem once grew in the jungle
and perhaps tigers brushed past it; now it is pierced to
The curious pipe is from India, the tobacco first came
from America but the coffee is Arabian. Let us listen to the
story of the cup of coffee: In a book published in 1566 by
an Arab scholar on the virtues of coffee it is stated that a
knowledge of coffee was first brought to Arabia from
Abyssinia about the year 1400 by a pious man whose tomb
is still venerated in Yemen. The knowledge of coffee
' spread from Yemen in south Arabia over the whole world.
In 1690 Van Hoorne, a general of the Dutch East India
company, received a few coffee seeds from the Arabs at
Mocha and planted them in Batavia on the island of Java.
In this way Mocha coffee has become the mother of Java
and of all other kinds of coffee sold at your grocers'. Noth-
ing can be more beautiful than the green hills and fertile
gardens in the Arabian coffee country. The coffee berry
grows on an evergreen tree of about eighteen feet high; its
leaves are a beautiful dark, shining green and the blossom of
the tree is pure white with a most delicate and fragrant odour.
Each tree bears an enormous number of coffee-berries; a
single tree is said to have yielded sixteen pounds! Arabia
not only produces the finest coffee in the world, but I think
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the Arabs know how to prepare a good cup of coffee better
than other peoples. The raw bean is roasted just before it
is used and so keeps all its strength; it is pounded fine,
much finer than you can grind it, in a mortar, with an iron
pestle; lastly two smelling herbs, heyl and saffron are added
when it is boiled just enough to give a flavour. Some fibres
of palm bark are stuck into the spout of the coffee-pot to
act as a strainer and then the clear brown liquid is poured
into a tiny cup and handed to you in the coffee-shop. No
wonder the Arab dervishes smack their lips over this, their
But how did the tobacco get into our picture ? You can
hunt up the story for yourselves in your school histories.
Had not Sir Walter Raleigh in 1586 introduced the weed to
the court of Queen Elizabeth from Virginia, our picture and
social life in Arabia would be very different. The custom
of puffing tobacco has spread like a prairie fire and it is now
so common in the East that very few realise it was not
always found there. There they are all together, an Indian
pipe, Arabian coffee and American tobacco! How much
faster and further tobacco has travelled than the Bible; how
many people had begun to drink Mocha before Arabia had
But, of course, nothing can travel for nothing; and some-
body must pay the travelling expenses. America pays
many millions more for tobacco in a year than it pays
for missionaries. It is not surprising, therefore, that all
Arabians smoke and only a very few have ever heard of the
Son of God, the Saviour of the world. As Jesus Himself
said, "the children of this world are wiser in their genera-
tion than the children of light." When people learn to love
missions as much and as often as they do a good cigar and
a cup of coffee there will be no need of mite boxes. God
hasten the day.
AT THE CORNER GROCERY
It is not a very long distance from the Arab coffee-shop
where we left our friend smoking, to the grocer. The
streets are very narrow and unless we are very careful that
camel will crowd us to the wall or those water-skins on the
white donkey wet our clothes — see how they drip! Well,
one turn more and here we are. The grocer in the picture
on the next page is leaning on his elbow waiting for a
customer. And if he keeps his groceries as free from
flies and ants as he does his spotless white turban we will
buy our day's supplies here. The shops in Arabia are
not very large and they have no place for customers
except outside. Sometimes there is a sort of raised seat
or bench on which the purchaser sits when he bargains
for something; but generally you have to stand up outside
while the crowds push and the traffic goes on. One
curious custom is that all the shops of one kind cluster
close together in one street or section of the town. You
will see for example in one street a long row of shops
where they sell drugs and perfumery; in another place
there are only hardware merchants; again a whole street of
nothing but grocers. I think the reason is that Arabs love
to bargain and to beat down prices and so it is easier to
have all the merchants of one kind close together. At any
rate this arrangement makes it quite convenient for the
A R. A B I A
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
purchaser. Indeed it is becoming somewhat customary
to group the shops in this way in some of your Western
cities. Occidental civilisation can learn some things from
Our shopkeeper has a mixed lot of groceries in his shop;
many things which you would find at your grocers' he has
never heard of. Everything is topsy-turvy. Just fancy
how strange to hang up the sugar in a row of cones on
strings like sausages! Do you see them on the ceiling of
the shop in our picture ? That is the way white sugar comes
wrapped from France and is sold in Arabia. A sugar barrel
would soon be full of ants in this country; but when it
hangs up on a string the ants have a hard time getting it
away. Maybe there is a suggestion here for your homes if
you are troubled with ants.
In those big Arab baskets the grocer keeps his carrots and
other vegetables; carrots are white in Arabia and there are
curious vegetables of which you have never heard.
Do you see the bottles and tin boxes on his shelves?
Those are for spices; pepper, cinnamon, nutmegs, curry-
powder and such things of which Arab housewives are very
The big bowl on the left probably has olives in it or other
kind of pickled vegetables. On the right you can see the
big pair of old fashioned scales on which he weighs his
wares. I hope he is an honest man, although I do not think
he looks very honest, do you ? The scale hangs true I have
no doubt; but it is in the weights that deception lurks. In
Arabia we can every day see illustrations of the words of
Solomon in the book of Proverbs about " divers weights"
and "false balances." The most of the shopkeepers do
not have proper weights of iron or brass, but use ordinary
cobblestones and pebbles. Only a few days ago I bought
some walnuts and the grocer weighed them so many stones'
weight! Do you know what a "stone" weight is.
Maybe you had better look it up in your dictionary.
That covered kettle near the scale-pans on top of the
little box contains semn, which is the Arabic name for
sheep's fat. You would hardly believe me if I told you
what a lot of this greasy yellow stuff the boys and girls eat
on their rice, and how much is used in an Arab kitchen. It
is sold by weight, just as well as all other things, even milk
in Arabia. If we wait long enough you will see Fatimah
and Mirjam and the other girls come with empty bowls to
buy so many pennies' worth of grease.
Do you notice that the shop has queer little doors on the
lower part of the front opening ? The other part of the shop
is closed by a flap-door that does not show on the picture.
This is hinged from the top and is used when the shop is
open as a sort of blind to keep off the sun or the rain.
When the shopkeeper leaves his shop for a half hour or
so he hangs a sort of fish-net over the opening of his shop
and never needs to lock it. This is a curious custom, and I
have often wondered how the shops were safe from stealing
boys or robbers in such cases. It is one more instance of
how different the East is from the West.
The shopkeepers generally close their shops at sunset,
and only in a very few places are there people who buy and
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
sell or go about to do shopping by lamplight. Our grocer
on the corner has provided for emergencies, and the large
Arabian lantern ought to light up all his little shop.
Across the street is the place where they sell crockery.
The salesman is out,
but his boy, as you
see, has taken the op-
portunity to eat some
apples. I wonder
whether he got them
at the grocer's?
His father sells
water-jugs and jars
made of porous earth.
Oh what a blessing
those jars are to all
the people of this hot
and dry country. We
have no ice in Arabia
and so no refrigera-
tors; the wells are
never very deep and
the water comes a
long distance. So if
it were not for the
crockery man and his water-jugs we could never drink cold
water. But just pour the water in one of these earthen pots
and hang it in the wind and then in a few minutes the
water gets cold. We missionaries always have such
ARAB BOY IN A CROCKERY SHOP.
A R A " B I A
water-jars hanging or standing in our windows to catch the
breeze. Perhaps this kind of water-cooler is very old, and
Solomon himself looked at one when he wrote the words:
" As cold waters to a thirsty soul so is good news from a
It was on a Sunday afternoon that I first met Blind
Fatimah and greeted her with Salaam aleikum and she
answered aleikum es salaam! ''Peace be to you and on
you be peace." I asked if she could read. She said she
could " read by heart," but could not see anything. She at
that time could repeat twenty-six chapters of the Koran, the
sacred book of the Mohammedans. Now I think she can
repeat it nearly all; it contains one hundred and fourteen
chapters. Some are very short and others are very long;
some parts of the book are very good, but most of it is a
jumble of events and of things that never happened— all
mixed up topsy-turvy.
A slave woman was Fatimah's teacher and now she is
helper in the school of this teacher. She is the prompter,
and always begins each sentence of the recitation, and the
other children follow on. ■ If any mistakes are made, she
will instantly correct them.
She is a peculiar looking girl and she is not pretty. Her
clothes consist of cast off garments given her by others.
Her head is generally covered and wrapped up in a black
muslin veil; then she has an abba or Arabian cloak of
very green-black cashmere; then under that a many
coloured garment called a thobe ; it is square in pattern
with armholes and sleeves nearly a yard wide. The ends
of these wide sleeves are deftly taken and thrown over the
head to form a sort of tight-fitting cap. Underneath this
garment is a kind of dressing gown with tight-fitting
sleeves. Such is Fatimah's wardrobe. She wears no shoes,
not even sandals. Would you like to walk in the hot sand
with no covering for your feet ?
Sometimes I visit the school where Fatimah teaches the
smaller girls A, B, C. It is a topsy-turvy school indeed.
The object seems to be to make as much noise as possible;
the pupils sit on the floor with a small stand or trestle (like
a saw-buck!) in front of each one to hold their Korans out
of which they read. The first pupil begins a sentence at the
top of his, or her, voice and then in a sort of refrain it is
taken up by all the others. The teacher sits outside the
school very often sewing or preparing a meal or entertaining
visitors; for the schoolhouse is an ordinary mat hut dwell-
ing. If however a pupil makes a mistake in reading she
hears instantly and corrects it.
When the hours of prayer come around (the Moslems you
know pray five times a day) lessons are dropped. One day
I called at the school at the time of afternoon prayer. All
the children had run down to the sea, to wash their faces
and hands and feet, so as to be quite pure outwardly, when
repeating Mohammed's prayers.
In the accompanying picture of a Moslem boy praying
you will see what those forms are and how much form
there is to go through. Blind Fatimah stood with her hands
clasped, looking upward with those sightless eyes, her lips
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
HOW A MOSLEM BOY PRAYS.
moving. Then she fell on her knees, with the little, thin
hands spread out; then she bowed down until her forehead
touched the earth, continuing in that position for a little
time; then she got up, and with another upward look and
motion of the lips, the devotions were ended.
I prayed there, too, that her eyes might be opened to see
Jesus as her own Saviour, and that she might know Him as
the Son of God, and not merely as one of the many prophets
mentioned in the Koran. It seemed such a sad sight to see
this blind child, doubly blind because her religion is false,
and she is resting on a false hope.
She always listens when I tell her, or read to her about
God, and Jesus Christ the Saviour. And if you would help
together by your daily prayers, perhaps soon God will give
the answer. Would it not be blessed for you and me if
some day blind Fatimah should have opened eyes; not to
see the date groves, and the sea, and the beautiful sunsets
of Bahrein, but far more— to see Jesus' face and to follow
Him by leading others to Him ?
" For thousands and thousands who wander and fall,
Never heard of that heavenly home;
I should like them to know there is room for them all,
And that Jesus has bid them to come.
I long for the joy of that glorious time,
The sweetest and brightest and best,
When the dear little children of every clime
Shall crowd to His arms and be blest."
DATES AND SUGAR-CANE
This is the sweetest chapter in the book. The pictures
are enough to make one's mouth water and give one an ap-
petite for Arabian dates. I do not suppose there is a boy or
girl in England or America that has not eaten the fruit of
the Arabian palm tree; but how many of you know the
taste of sugar-cane ?
In many parts of Arabia., especially at Busrah and along
the river Tigris, you can see the sugar-cane sellers sit by the
wayside and dispose of this Arabian stick-candy to the boys
and girls in exchange for coppers. The woman in the
picture has chosen the shelter of a date tree and beside the
tall bundles of cane she has oranges for sale as well. The
sugar-cane is cut into pieces and sold "by the knot"; that
is, by the length of the stick from one knot to the next. It
is not expensive and I have seen even the very poorest chil-
dren suck their cane on the way home as happy as sugar
can make them. The sugar-cane is a kind of grass but it
grows to twice the height of a boy and is over two inches
in circumference. The stems are smooth, shining and hard
on the outside, but inside they are porous and the pores are
full of sugar sap. The sugar-cane first came from India,
but the Arabs spread its cultivation as far as Morocco and
Sicily; so that it is no wonder that the word " sugar" itself
comes from the Arabic. Yet it shows how ignorant the
WOMAN SELLING SUGAR-CANE.
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
Arabs are to-day because, although they have sugar-cane,
their sugar nearly all comes from Europe. They do not
know how to manufacture it and therefore eat the sugar-
Sweeter than sugar-cane and much more plentiful is the
date. There is no place in all Arabia where you do not see
the date palm growing, and seldom can you eat a meal in
any part of the country but dates are part of the bill-of-fare.
In fact thousands of people in Arabia have nothing but dates
to eat from January to December! So plentiful are they
that even donkeys and camels are fed on dates in some
Many of the dates you buy in your own country come
from Arabia. On the best kind of dates which come in
wooden boxes you will find Muscat or Busrah stamped to
show from what place they were shipped. There are very
many kinds of dates in Arabia, and only a very few sorts are
sent abroad. Some of them are too delicate to stand the
long voyage and others are found only in small quantities.
I do not think any of the dates that reach America equal
those we pick from the palm tree ourselves here in Arabia —
no more than dried apple rings taste as good as ripe juicy
sweet apples from the orchard. When the dates ripen in
September they are picked, sorted, and then packed in layers
by the Arab women and boys who get paid for this work.
Large steamships are loaded down with these boxes and
many of them leave Busrah every year with no other cargo
The date tree is very beautiful. I think it is the most
A R A B I A
beautiful of all the palms. It is no wonder that a palm
branch is the symbol of victory in the Bible and that the
psalmist compares the life of a righteous man to a palm
DATES GROWING ON A DATE PALM.
tree! How straight and beautifully proportioned is the tall
trunk of the tree. It is an evergreen and is always flourish-
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
ing winter and summer. It is a lovely sight to see the huge
clusters of ripening fruit, golden-yellow or reddish-brown,
amid the bright green branches. Along the rivers in the
north of Arabia, at Hassa and in Oman, date orchards
stretch for miles and miles as far as you can see. Some of
the Arabs have such large date gardens that they do not
know the number of their trees. How do you suppose
they climb the tree? The Arabs have no ladders and in-
deed it would be hard to make a ladder long enough to
reach to the top of a tall palm tree. So they use a rope band
which goes around the trunk of the tree and around their
waist; it is shoved up little by little and the Arab puts his
bare feet on the rough bark of the tree and so climbs up as
easily as a monkey. The palm tree is perhaps the most
useful tree in the world. Every part of it is used for some-
thing or other, and I do not see how Arabia could get along
without palm trees. The fruit is prepared in many differ-
ent ways for food. The date stones are used by the Arab
children in playing checkers and other games on the smooth
sand. They are also ground up into a coarse kind of meal
and this is good cattle-food. The branches of the date tree
are long and strong and thin just like a piece of rattan.
From them the carpenters make beds, tables, chairs, cradles,
bird-cages, reading-stands, boats, crates, kites and a dozen
other useful things. The leaves are woven into baskets, mats,
fans and string. From the bark excellent fibre makes rope of
all sizes. Not a bit of the tree is wasted. Even the blossoms
are used to make a kind of drink and the old musty fruit that
cannot be eaten is made into date syrup or date vinegar.
In one of the pictures you see the fire wood market at
Busrah. The long branches you see are sold for kindling
wood and they make a splendid fire. The heavier parts of
the tree are also used for fuel and the donkeys are loaded
with these date knots and date sticks in baskets. It is a
busy scene and, what with braying of donkeys and shout-
ing of the wood-merchants, there is enough noise too.
There is one more blessing that comes from the palm
FIRE WOOD MARKET, BUSRAH.
tree and which we have forgotten. That is shade. Arabia
is a hot and dry country. The summer sun is much more
piercing than in America and the summer is much longer.
When you travel a long camel journey across the desert, oh
how good it is to come to a grove of palm trees and rest!
Such a place is called an oasis and underneath the palms
there are always springs of water. I can well understand
how happy the children of Israel were after their journey in
the desert, when they came to Elim where "there were
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
twelve wells of water and threescore and ten palm trees."
In summer time many of the town Arabs leave their houses
in the city and go to camp out in the date-gardens to enjoy
the cool shades. The Arab poets have written many poems
in praise of their favourite tree and fruit, but none of them
are so funny as these lines which Campbell wrote from
Algiers where the date tree also flourishes and with which
we will end this chapter:
"Though my letter bears date as you view
From the land of the date-bearing palm
1 will palm no more puns upon you."
THE SHEPHERD OF THE SEWING MACHINE
In the blue waters of the Persian Gulf there lies a coral
island called Bahrein. At a few hundred yards to the
northeast of it is a still smaller island shaped like a pack-
saddle, where palm trees and white coral rock houses are
reflected in the salt water at high tide. The little island
town is called Moharrek, that is, the ''Burning Place,"
because it is very hot there in summer. After sailing
across in a boat one day, and wending our way through a
dirty bazar full of flies and Arabs, we were directed to the
house of the man called "The Shepherd of the Sewing
Machine." His real name is Mohammed bin Sooltaan, but
nobody knows him by any other name or title than Rdee
el karhhan, which literally means shepherd of the sewing
machine. Let me tell you his story and how he got that
Years ago, as pilot on the native boats that sail from
Bahrein to Bombay, Calcutta, Zanzibar and Jiddah, he had
experience of a wider world than the little island where he
was born. But the life was a hard one and his wages
were small. Moreover, the coming of steamships up the
Gulf took away the profit of the sailing craft, and so Mo-
hammed fared from bad to worse. He loved an Arab lass
with plaited, well-greased locks of hair and a pleasant face,
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
but her father asked a larger dowry than he could ever
An Arab young man must always pay a good price to
the father of his sweetheart before he is allowed to marry
her. But this Mohammed was too poor to pay the price
asked. What a queer topsy-turvy custom it is for a man
to buy his wife just as he buys a horse or a camel! The
Arabs often ask how much a wife costs in America and
wonder that we are not allowed by the Christian laws to
send away our wives and marry others.
Mohammed could not stay at home so he once more
went in a ship to Jiddah, the port to Mecca, where pilgrims
from all the Moslem world exchange thought and money
for bad bread and fanaticism. And yet even here the
civilisation of the West tries to enter. Wandering through
the bazars Mohammed for the first time saw a sewing
machine in the hands of an Indian tailor. A marvel to the
sailor fisherman, indeed! Almost as great a miracle to him
as the Koran. The more he looked the more he coveted,
and he could not pass the place without reckoning up the
possible profits of such an investment should he return with
it to his native island. The result was that he forswore the
sea and preferred another kind of wheel to that of the pilot.
With many mutual wallahs the bargain was concluded and
the machine reached Bahrein. It was the first on the
islands, and all the sheikhs came to see its marvellous build
and wonderful work. Mohammed has a Western head on
Eastern shoulders, and there was not a screw or tension
from treadle to shuttle, which he did not learn the use of.
It is unnecessary to state at the cost of how many broken
needles he became proficient. Amid cries of ajeeb, ajeeb,
the first Arab shirt was stitched together, and even the
youngsters on the street imitated the whirrr-clic-whirrr of
the machine. As for Mohammed, he sewed on, and while
his sandalled feet worked the treadle his mind worked out
a problem something like this: Three long-shirts a day
and an abba, at one kran per shirt and two for the abba,
thirty-five krans per week, how long will it take to pay the
dowry ? An abba is a large over-garment worn by both
men and women in Arabia. It is like a cape or overcoat
but has no sleeves nor buttons. The Arabs in Bahrein put
a great deal of pretty embroidery work on these garments
and some of them are worth twenty or thirty dollars. But
the sewing is done very cheaply. A kran is a Persian coin
worth about ten cents; can you figure out how much Mo-
hammed earned in a month ?
The Shepherd of the Machine kept working away and
when his hopes grew strong he sang at his work. In a few
months he paid a visit to the Mullah (the Moslem priest or
teacher), and that same night the Arab fiddles and drums
rang out merry music around the palm-leaf hut of his be-
loved bride. But the music of the machine sounded still
sweeter next morning. Daily bread, with rice, fish and
dates, and on rare occasions even mutton, all came out of
the machine. He loved the very iron of it and, as he told
us, read a prayer over it every morning: Bismillahi er rah-
man er raheem. His was the only machine, and a small
monopoly soon makes a capitalist. His palm branch hut
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
was exchanged for a house of stone; and Allah blessed him
greatly. No shepherd was ever more tender to his little
lambs than Mohammed to the old machine.
When we entered the house on our first visit, there stood
the machine! Not much the worse for wear, and with
" Pfaff. C. Theodosius, Constantinople," still legible on the
nickel-plate. But the old machine had found a rival. By
its side stood another make of machine which looked
strangely familiar to American eyes. It was while compar-
ing the machines and drinking Arab coffee that we learned
from Mohammed why he prized the old one as better.
"Wallah," he said, "I would not sell it for many times its
original price. There is blessing in it, and all I have comes
from that machine, praise be to Allah." And so we sipped
his cups and heard his story and ceased to wonder why he
was called the Shepherd of the Sewing machine. The
shepherd has a brother who wants to learn English and
goes to Bombay every year — but that is another story.
There are many other sewing machines in Bahrein now,
but Mohammed's was the first, and he introduced the others.
Do you not think that he should be called the Christopher
Columbus of Bahrein tailors?
THE CHILDREN OF THE DESERT
About one-third of Topsy-turvy Land is desert and is the
home of those Arabs that wander about from place to place
and are called nomads or Bedouin. The word Bedouin
means a desert-dweller. But you must not think that a
desert is a flat country covered with a deep layer of sand
without trees or shrubs. Oh no! There are such deserts
in Arabia too, but the greater part of what is called desert is
much more attractive and is only desert because it has no
settled population and no villages. The soil is often very
good and in springtime after the rains the whole of
northern Arabia (where most of the nomads pitch their
tents) is one vast prairie of wild flowers and green grass.
The Arabs of the North are rich in flocks and herds. I am
sure you can still find some who, like Job, have seven
thousand sheep and three thousand camels and a very great
household. They all live in tents and the tents of Arabia
are not white and round like circus tents but jet black and
square or oblong. You remember the Bible always speaks
of the black tents of Kedar. They are black because they
are woven from goat's hair which is used also for their
garments and is almost as good a waterproof covering as
india rubber. But when you have to spend a long hot day
under such a roof as I have done you feel sorry for the
Arabs that they have no better protection against the blazing
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
sun. Everything is home-made and clumsy, but shall I tell
you what I have found ? There is no warmer hospitality
in all the wide world than in these tents of Kedar. A few
weeks ago I spent a Sabbath day resting by the way in one
of these tents. The women brought water to cool my head ;
a great bowl of camel's milk was our drink even before they
asked our errand; and at night they killed a fat kid and
made a guest meal fit for an epicure.
The Arabs of the desert are more ignorant than those of
the towns, but they are much kinder to strangers and treat
their wives and children better. Their life is rather mo-
notonous, but they enjoy it. Like the American Indians they
prefer a tent to a house, and would rather change their home
every day than settle down as farmers. When pasture fails
for their flocks of sheep the chief gives notice and on the
morrow the whole camp has moved away. Some tribes
move every month and go for a long distance to find fresh
The Bedouin are divided into many tribes and clans.
Some of them are friendly to each other but nearly all are at
war with one another all the year round. Robbery and
murder are very frequent. Every one goes armed with a
long spear or with a gun, and many carry a war club and a
sword as well. The largest Arab tribes and the wealthiest
are the Anae\e and the Shommar. They have many fine
horses. In the picture you see a group of them armed with
their long spears. The spear of the leader is ornamented
with a tuft of ostrich feathers; these spears are often over
twelve feet long and have a sharp steel lance at the end.
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
The Arabs are fond of games, especially galloping their
horses and playing at war. They are very skillful riders and
kind to their steeds; they do not spend much time in
grooming them and they never use a whip and seldom a
bit. Their bridle is like our halter strap, and the horse is
so well trained that he needs no iron bit in his mouth.
One of the most interesting of all the Arab tribes is called
the Suleibi. They are despised by all the other Arabs and
seem to be of a different race. The women of this tribe are
remarkable for their beauty and the men for their skill as
blacksmiths and tinkers. They are always sought after to
do the tinkering for the Arabs of all other tribes. They
have no camels or horses but ride little donkeys and dress
in gazelle skins. Some people think that this tribe is a
remnant of the Christian population of Arabia; they have
many curious beliefs and their name means, " Those-of-the-
Cross." Perhaps some day a missionary will bring them
back to a true knowledge of the Crucified One.
The nomads of Arabia are happy in springtime when
there is enough grass for their flocks and the wells of the
desert are full of water. But after the long summer drought
there is often a great scarcity of food and even famine in
many parts of Arabia. Then the nomads eat anything and
drink the brackish water from the bottom of a mud pool
with relish. In no country in the world is water so costly
as in Arabia; nowhere is it so carefully used: an Arab never
wastes a drop of water and looks surprised and pained
when an European traveller rinses out a cup before drink-
ing! The nomad Arabs eat locusts and wild honey as did
A R A B I A
John the Baptist. But I have also seen them eat the big
lizards of the desert and the jerboas — a sort of desert rat.
An Arab once stood amidst a circle of jewellers at Busrah
and said: "On one occasion I had missed my way in the
desert, and having no road-provision left, I had given my-
self up for lost, when all at once 1 found a bag of pearls.
Never shall I forget that relish and delight so long as I mis-
took them for parched wheat; nor that bitterness and disap-
pointment when I discovered that they were real pearls!"
This story is told by a Persian poet and although it may not
be true yet it teaches a lesson. To a hungry man a handful
of wheat is better than all the pearls of the ocean.
In his tent the Arab is very lazy. His only occupation is
feeding his horses or milking his camels. The Arab girls
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
go out to take care of the flocks while the wife performs all
the domestic duties. She grinds wheat in the hand-mill;
kneads and bakes bread; makes butter by shaking the milk
in a leather bag; fetches water in a skin; works at the
loom and is busy all the time. The Arab smokes his pipe,
drinks coffee and talks to his friends; unless he is on the
march or on a robbery excursion his
life seems very lazy.
Scarcely any of the Bedouin can
read, and they have neither schools
nor mosques. The Bedouin some-
times say, "Mohammed's religion
cannot have been intended for us; it
demands washings, but we have no
water; alms, but we have no money;
pilgrimage to Mecca, but we are
always wandering and God is every-
where." Yet outwardly they ob-
serve the Moslem religion of which
they know so little. In our next
chapter you will read how earnestly
even the nomad children pray in the
desert. And I believe God loves these sons of Ishmael
and will yet bring them back to Abraham's faith. Don't
you think so too ?
For many days the sailing craft from Bahrein had been
unloading Indian wares at the port of Ojeir on the Hassa
coast, and for many hours the busy throng of Bedouin
drivers and merchants and onlookers were loading the cara-
van, emphasising their task or their impatience with great
oaths, almost as guttural and angry as the noise of the
camels. At length, with the pious cry of Tawakalna, " we
have trusted in God," they are off.
A caravan is composed of companies, and while the
whole host numbered seven hundred camels, with mer-
chants and travellers and drivers, our company from Ojeir
to Hofhoof counted only six. There was Salih and Nasir,
a second son of the desert, both from Riad; a poor unfortu-
nate lad with stumpy hands and feet, who limped about on
rag shoes and seemed quite happy; there was Noorah and
her sister, and lastly, the missionary.
But for the shuffling of the desert sand and the whack of
a driving stick the caravan marched in silence. The sun
shone full in our faces as it slowly sank in the west, its last
rays coloured the clouds hanging over the lowlands of
Hassa a bright red, and when it disappeared we heard the
sheikhs of the companies, one after the other, call to prayer.
Only a part of the caravan responded. The Turkish soldiers
on horseback kept on their way; the most pious of the mer-
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
chants had already urged their beasts ahead of the rest and
had finished a duty that interfered with a speedy journey
and the first choice of location at the night encampment;
some excused themselves by quoting a Koran text, and
others took no notice of the call. Not so the Bedouin child
Noorah and her younger sister. They had trudged on foot
four long hours, armed with sticks to urge on that lazy
white camel, always loitering to snatch a bite of desert-
thorn with his giant jaws. A short time before sunset I
saw the two children mount the animal by climbing up its
neck, as only Arabs can, but now, at call to prayer they de-
voutly slipped down. Hand in hand they ran ahead a short
distance, shuffled aside some sand with their bare feet,
rubbed some on their hands, (as do all pious Moslems in the
absence of water), faced Mecca, and prayed.
As they did then, so at sunrise and at noon and at four
o'clock and sunset and when the evening star disappeared —
five times a day — they prayed. It is not true, as is generally
supposed, that women in Moslem lands do not pray. Only
at Mecca, as far as I know, of all Arabia, are they allowed a
place in the public mosques, but at home a larger per cent,
observe the times of prayer than do the men.
When Noorah had ended her prayer and resumed the task
of ^belabouring the white camel, she turned to me with a
question, " Laish ma tesully anta ?" which with Bedouin
bluntness means, " You, why don't you pray ?" The ques-
tion set me musing half the night; not, I confess, about my
own prayers, but about hers. Why did Noorah pray ?
What did Noorah pray ? Did she understand that
Prayer is the burden of a sigh, the falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of the eye when only God is near,
as well as the dead formalism of the mosque ? How could I
answer her question in a way that she might well under-
stand ? And if hers, too, was a sincere prayer, as I believe,
— the prayer of an ignorant child of the desert, — did she
pray words or thoughts ? What do Noorah and her more
than two million Bedouin sisters ask of God five times daily ?
Leaving out vain repetitions, this is what they say:
"In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate;
Praise be to God who the two worlds made;
Thee do we entreat and Thee do we supplicate;
Lead us in the way the straight,
The way of those whom Thou dost compassionate,
Not of those on whom is hate
Nor those that deviate. Amen."
It is the first chapter of the Koran and is used by Moslems
as we use the Lord's Prayer. The words are very beautiful
I think, don't you?
Whether Noorah understood what she asked I know not;
but to me who saw and heard in the desert twilight, (as
under like conditions to you), the prayer was full of pathos.
The desert! where God is, and where but for His mercy
and compassion death and solitude would reign alone; the
desert, a world of its own kind, a sea of sand, with no life
in it except the Living One, and over it only His canopy of
stars— God of the two worlds! And to that God, than
whom there is no other, and whom they ignorantly wor-
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
ship, these sons and daughters of outcast Ishmael bow their
faces in the dust and five times daily entreat and supplicate
to be led aright in the way of truth.
They ask to be directed into the straight way, but oh
how crooked is the way of God which Mohammed taught
in his book! Sadder still, what a crooked way it is that
the Moslems walk! Impure words, lying lips, hands that
steal and feet that run after cruelty — these are what chil-
dren in Arabia possess. But I dare say that some of them
are really sorry for their sins and when they pray like
Noorah in the desert they want to have peace and pardon.
Are they looking unconsciously perhaps for the footprints
in the desert of One who said, "I am the Way, the Truth
and the Life" ?
Alas, Noorah and her many sisters (your sisters, too)
have never seen His beauty nor heard of His love! They
do not know that the "way of those whom Thou dost
compassionate" is the new and living way through Christ's
cross and death. They are ignorant of the awful word,
"He that believeth not on the Son shall not see life, but
the wrath of God abideth on him." Has God the Merciful
then not heard Noorah's prayer? Will He not answer
it ? Is His mercy to these children of Abraham clean gone
forever? How long they have waited and how many of
the desert children are now sleeping in little desert graves!
Do you not think God wants you to carry the gospel to
them and send them teachers to learn the way of Jesus ?
Think of Noorah's question, " You, why don't you
pray?" Think of Christ's words, "Go tell quickly."
"Arabia the Loved."
There's a land since long neglected,
There's a people still rejected,
But of truth and grace elected,
In His love for them.
Softer than their night wind's fleeting,
Richer than their starry tenting,
Stronger than their sands protecting,
Is His love for them.
To the host of Islam's leading,
To the slave in bondage bleeding,
To the desert dweller pleading,
Bring His love to them.
Through the promise on God's pages,
Through His work in history's stages,
Through the cross that crowns the ages,
Show His love to them.
With the prayer that still availeth
With the power that prevaileth,
With the love that never faileth,
Tell His love to them.
Till the desert's sons now aliens,
Till its tribes and their dominions,
Till Arabia's raptured millions,
Praise His love of them. — J. G. L.
PICTURES WITH WORDS ONLY
You already know many curious facts about the people
of Topsy-turvy Land. Would you like to hear something
about their language and their writing? The language of
this land is very old, almost as old as its camels or its
desert sands. The Moslems even go so far as to say that
Adam and Eve spoke Arabic in Paradise and they say it is
called the language of the angels. It is written from right
to left just in the opposite way of this page of English
writing. The Arabic alphabet has twenty-eight letters, all
of which are considered consonants. There are marks put
above and below the line to show the sounds of the vowels;
just as we wrote the word potato in our first chapter.
Arabic grammar is much more difficult than English
grammar, and even the boys who attend the big Arabic
college of El Azhar in Cairo, Egypt, must find its study a
bugbear. Just think of learning fifteen conjugations instead
of the much smaller number in Latin or Greek! The books
used in Moslem schools would look very crude and dull to
you who learnt your A, B, C, from an illustrated primer
perhaps with coloured pictures.
Strict Mohammedans do not allow their boys and girls to
have pictures in their books, because they say all pictures
are idols. And yet the love for beauty and the desire for
ornament on the written or printed page was so strong
A R A B I A
with the Arabs that they began from the earliest times to
use their alphabet to make arabesques. Arabesque is a big
word and it really means an Arab picture. But these pic-
tures of the Arabs (which you find on the arches of old
mosques, in books and on tombstones) are ornaments or
designs made out of the beautifully curved letters of the
alphabet. The old Arab copyists and their sculptors wrote
and carved the words of the Koran, or the names of God,
etc., in all sorts of ways to make pictures out of words only,
lest they break the law of their prophet. Here are two
examples of how pictures can be made out of letters.
DESIGNS MADE OUT OF ARABIC WRITING.
You have all doubtless heard of a " wordless book"; and
some of you have books without words and full of pic-
tures. Here is a picture made out of the Arabic alphabet,
and every curve and dot belongs to the words so curiously
written. I copied them out of an Arabic treatise on pen-
manship, for you. The face is not at all pretty, and yet
Moslem lads think it is very clever to bring this likeness of
man out of the four names, Allah, Mohammed, All and
Hassan. These words you notice are written twice, both
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to the left and to the right. What a disgrace to the holy
name of God to put that of three Arabs with it in a mono-
graph! It is very sad to hear some Moslems say that they
trust in these people to intercede for them with God. If
you have read what sinful lives these people led when they
were the chief rulers in Arabia, you will almost agree with
me in calling this first picture a Moslem idol.
There are many Moslems in Bahrein who have hanging
up in their rooms these monograms or designs. One
favourite I have often seen contains only five names:
Allah, Mohammed, AH, Hassan and Hussein. The people
who make so much of these descendants of Mohammed
are called Shiahs ; the other Moslems who think they are
more orthodox are called Sunnites.
What do you think of our second picture? Is not
the design very pretty for an embroidery pattern? The
motto is written twice; once from the right and once
backward from the left, the same as in the other picture.
The words are taken from the Koran and are as true as they
are beautiful. Man yatlawakil ala Allah fa hooa hasbahoo ;
which means, "Whoever trusts in God will find Him suf-
ficient." That surely contradicts the other picture, does it
not? And yet they are both from the same copy-book.
There are many contradictions in the religion of Mohammed.
I only hope that when Christ's gospel has conquered Arabia,
the name of Jesus will be written on every mosque and in
every heart; then contradiction will give way to the truth,
and whoever trusts in Christ will find Him sufficient.
Would it not be nice to make something pretty for use in
the home or in the Sunday-school, and embroider the
Arabic words on it ? It would be a constant reminder of
Arabia and of the beautiful motto— only an Arabic version
of Paul's words, Our sufficiency is of God.
Our last illustration to close this chapter is an example of
Arabic every-day penmanship. It was written in the moun-
tains of Oman, and is a letter from a poor cripple asking for
a copy of the Psalms and other books. It was sent to our
brother Peter J. Zwemer a year before he died, when he was
on a missionary journey in Oman.
ARABIC LETTER FROM A POOR CRIPPLE.
THE QUEER PENNIES OF OMAN AND OF HASSA
If Jesus Himself, on one occasion, said, "Show me a
penny," and preached a sermon from it, surely we may
follow his example and learn something from these strange
coins which you see in the pictures at the beginning and end
of this chapter. The coin on this page comes from Oman,
the home of the Arabian camel and one of its most fertile
provinces. Perhaps some of the boys and girls can tell
where Oman is and give its boundaries without looking in
the geography, but I am sure none of you can read the
inscription on the penny, and tell what it all means. Who
is Fessul bin Turkee ? What is an Imam ? How much is
one-quarter of an Anna ? And when did this queer coin
come fresh from the mint ?
Let us begin at the beginning. Fessul bin Turkee,
the present ruler of Oman, lives in a large, tumble-down
old castle in Muscat, and his big red flag waves over the
town every Friday, the Mohammedan Sabbath. He is not
much better nor worse than his father, Turkee, or than
other rulers in Arabia, but he certainly is far more enter-
prising, and is generally liked by the Arabs of Muscat. He
is not however in all respects a merciful ruler. When I
visited Muscat a few years ago this petty king had a real
lion's den, like Nebuchadnezzar, and the story goes that he
sometimes used it in the same way to get rid of his enemies.
He once had a steam-launch, and even put up an electric
light on the top of his castle, but both of these modern
improvements came to grief. He also started a small ice
factory to supply his household with cold water when the
thermometer rises to over one hundred degrees; but the
expense was too great and so the project melted away like-
wise. His last venture is more successful, and ever since
the ice factory added a P to its sign-board and became a
"pice factory," copper coins have been plentiful in Oman.
A pice is the Indian name for a small copper coin, and the
Arabs borrowed the word, with many other words, from
the Hindu traders. The Sultan has plenty of wives and
horses and retainers; his castle is well-supplied with old
cannon and modern rifles; huge coffee-pots pour out cheap
hospitality every day; but withal I do not think he is very
happy, for he is in debt and his power is not as extensive
as it was once. Fessul's proper title is not Sultan, although
he is often so called, but Imam, which signifies religious
leader. It is the old title given to the political chiefs of
Oman and Zanzibar.
The word means one " who stands before,'' and was first
used as a title for the leader of prayer in the mosques. In
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Oman the religious chiefs soon took hold of politics, and so
the title has a significance now in this part of Arabia that it
never had elsewhere.
Let us get back to the penny. Its face (although being a
Mohammedan coin it really has no human face because their
religion forbids pictures) bears an English as well as an Arabic
inscription. The opposite side only has the Sultan's name
in Arabic. On the side that has the English words is the
legend: "Struck at Muscat in the year 1315." Yet the
penny is only three years old, for the Moslems begin to date
their years from the Hegira, or flight of their prophet from
Mecca to Medina. This took place in the year 622 a. d.
But we must also remember that their year is several days
shorter than ours, because they have lunar months all of
equal length and only 360 days in a year.
How strange it is to read such an old date for such a
recent year as 1899, since we count time from the birth of
Christ! But you must remember that the False Prophet has
had it all his own way in Arabia for thirteen hundred years,
and that the missionaries in this country are very few
indeed. Only for a very few years and in a very few places
has Christ been preached.
Now, however, even this queer little penny can bear
witness to the fact that the gospel has come to Oman. It
is worth one-quarter of an anna; there are sixteen annas in
a rupee, and a rupee is worth about thirty-three cents. Not
a big value, is it ? But for four of these coins the poorest
boy in Muscat can buy a complete gospel of Matthew. The
shopkeeper must take in a great many of them, for last
year one thousand four hundred and thirty-three such gospels
and other portions of the Bible were sold in this part of
Arabia and paid for by these coppers.
Another interesting fact to notice is that part of the
inscription on the coin is English. Coming events cast
their shadows before. England's power in checking the
cruel slave trade and rooting out piracy on the coasts of
Arabia has made its influence felt. An English primer is
sure to follow a penny with an English motto, and some
day our mission will have a school at Muscat for Arab boys
and girls, as well as for rescued slaves. Your American
pennies and your prayers will help to bring it about.
Moreover, do you not think that if they keep on buying
gospels and reading them, Jesus Christ will some time be
the true Imam of Muscat and Oman ?
The other coin is
the only old coin
that is at present
current in Arabia,
and I leave you to
decide whether it is
not the oddest and
queerest penny you
have ever seen.
The first time I saw
these queer black-
smith-nail coins was in 1893, when I made a visit to Hof-
hoof, the capital of the province of Hassa, in Eastern
Arabia. The people used them, as we do pennies, for all
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small purchases, but I fear such a pointed coin must have
been harder on their pockets than our round coins. It is
called the Taweelah, or long-bit, and consists of a small
copper-bar of about an inch in length, split at one end and
with the fissure slightly opened. The coin has neither date
nor motto, although one can yet occasionally find silver
coins of like shape with the Arabic motto: "Honour to
the sober man, dishonour to the ambitious." The coin,
although it has no date, was undoubtedly made by one of
the Carmathian rulers about the year 920 a. d. This was
more than five hundred years before Columbus discovered
America! The Carmathians were a very fanatical sect of
Moslems. You remember reading in chapter three how
they took the black stone from Mecca ?
Well, these people had this province as the centre of their
power and here they struck these peculiar coins. I have
heard it said that they were so opposed to images and faces
on money that their leader devised this long bar-like shape
for his coins to prevent any one from making images on
At any rate the Carmathians were very brave warriors.
When Abu Tahir, their first leader, attacked Bagdad with
only 500 horsemen he was met by a messenger from the
city saying that 30,000 soldiers were guarding the gates.
"Yes," said Abu Tahir, "but among them all there are not
three such as these." At the same instant he turned to
three of his companions commanding one to plunge a
dagger into his own breast, another to leap into the rushing
Tigris river and the third to cast himself down a precipice.
They obeyed without a murmur. " Relate," continued the
general, "what you have just seen; before evening your
leader shall be chained among my dogs." No wonder that
with such absolute obedience, the Carmathians terrified all
Arabia with their army.
As I handle their old coins and think of the past, I some-
times wonder how much Our Great Captain, Christ Jesus
would accomplish had He soldiers equally obedient and
brave as did the Carmathian general, in redeeming Arabia
from its long darkness and bloodshed. It is nineteen hun-
dred years ago that He commanded us: "Go ye into all
the world and preach the gospel."
But even now there is no one preaching the gospel in
Hassa nor in all the interior of Arabia. Why ?
ARAB BABIES AND THEIR MOTHERS
An Arab baby is such a funny little creature! In Chris-
tian lands babies, as soon as possible, are given a warm
bath and dressed with comfortable clothing. But in Arabia
the babies are not washed for many days, only rubbed over
with a brown powder and their tiny eyelids painted round
with collyrium. They are wound up in a piece of calico
and tied up with a string, just like a package of sugar.
Their arms are fastened by the bandage so that they cannot
possibly move them. The Arab mothers say that if the
arms and legs of babies were left hanging loose the poor
things would never sleep, A small, tight bonnet for the
head completes the baby's wardrobe. A few blue beads or
buttons are sewn on the front of this cap to keep off the
evil-eye, for Moslem women all believe that if a stranger
looks at a baby it may turn sick and die.
On the day when the baby is named a sacrifice is slain
and eaten and silver offerings are given to the poor, equal
to the weight of hair on the infant's head. The poor baby's
hair is all shaved off to be weighed in the balance. Poor
people who cannot afford this offering omit the custom.
Charms are placed on the arms or around the neck of
the child. A few verses from the Koran are written out
and put in a leather or silver case and also tied around the
arm or neck of the baby. If the child shows signs of ill—
ness the mother makes it swallow some of the Koran.
That is, a portion is written out and the ink is washed off
with water and this dirty water is taken by the patient. A
prescription was sent to me once when I was ill by a Mos-
lem mullah, or teacher, of this character and he was quite
certain I would recover if I drank it. I am glad to say I got
better without the ink medicine.
When the baby is forty days old and has received its
name a new date-stick cradle is triumphantly brought home
from the market and the new baby placed in it. And then
Master or Miss Arab will get such a violent rocking that no
Christian baby could stand. The ground is uneven, for
there are no wooden floors in Arabia, and the rockers are
nearly straight so that you can imagine it is not the pleas-
antest thing in the world to be rocked in an Arab cradle. In
the picture you can see just what a date-stick cradle is like.
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
Arab babies cry a great deal; what with sand storms and
flies and other insects they generally have sore eyes and
apparently need strong treatment to make them quiet and
give their mothers and sisters time to grind the wheat and
churn the butter. Everything is made fresh each day in an
Arab household. The rice must be cooked for the daily
meal, the wheat ground for bread, and the milk put into
the leather churn. These people have no ice chest, not even
cupboards, many of them, so the coffee is freshly roasted
and pounded in a mortar for breakfast. The flour is taken
to the hand-mill and butter comes out of the churn every
day fresh. Then the mother will have to draw the daily
supply of water and wash the few clothes at the well.
The better classes have their slaves to do the hard work but
the Bedouin women and the poor have to do all the toil and
never get a rest. Rich and poor are alike in not having any
intellectual pleasures. Few can read and even those who
can read, are able to read only the Koran and the Moslem
traditions. The children have no primers or picture-books,
and no Arab mother ever has a newspaper or a magazine.
She has never heard of such things. Arab women do not
know anything of the many interests and pleasures that
occupy the time of women in Christian lands.
Would you like to know how they make bread in
Arabia? First the wheat is sifted and cleaned and then
it is put into one of the hand-mills. It consists of an
upper and nether millstone with a hole in the upper one
and a wooden handle. Two women usually sit and
grind because the stone is heavy and they love to talk
while they work. One swings it half way and the other
pulls it around. Then the coarse flour is taken out and put
into a bowl with water and salt and mixed to the right con-
WOMEN GRINDING AT THE MILL.
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sistency. A piece of this dough is then taken between the
hands and gradually beaten until it is about the thickness of
a book cover and twelve inches in diameter — a round, flat
cake of dough. The oven is usually under ground and is
shaped like a large jar with the mouth above the ground a
little. A fire is built inside the oven and when the sides of
the oven are quite hot the fire is allowed to die out. Then
the large pan cakes of bread are deftly clapped on to the
side of the oven until the space is covered and one by one
the cakes are taken out when done. In some houses they
have a shallow oval pan which is placed over an open fire
and on this the cakes are baked. The pan is put on the fire
upside down, so even here we are again in Topsy-turvy Land.
Twenty or thirty of these flat loaves are baked at one time,
for a hungry Arab can eat five or six at one meal.
Now the men come in to eat the food that the housewife
has prepared. With a short prayer called bismillah they
begin and then shove the rice and meat or the bread and
gravy into their mouths as fast as they can. Whatever is
left when the men get through is for the women. You can
see a group of Arab women in the picture eating their meal
from one common dish in front of their tent. They use
their hands instead of spoons or forks but get along very
well and always wash before and after their simple meal.
Now the women always have to wait on their husbands
and eat by themselves. When things get right side up in
this dark land we hope to see the whole family sitting
down together and taking their meal with joy and thanks-
BOAT-BUILDERS AND CARPENTERS
Sinbad the sailor died long ago but the sea he sailed is
still called the Persian Gulf and is just as full of curious
islands as it was in his time. The boats are also just like
Sinbad's and the sailors sing the same songs, I think, for
there are very few changes in the almost changeless East.
The Bahrein harbour-boat is built on the islands, out of
timber from India and masts from Ceylon. But the sail-
cloth and the ropes are made on this our island home. All
boats of this kind carry a good lot of passengers, draw
very little water and are fast sailing craft; so that even the
American boy whose father owns a yacht would not speak
with contempt of one of these boats. In fact I have heard
English sea captains who had drunk salt water for years
say that they never saw better harbour boats in a storm
than these of Bahrein.
In another kind of boat the pearl-divers of the Gulf go
out to their hard toil and costly labour. One of them
costs about four hundred rupees, that is about one hundred
and thirty dollars. You do not think that is dear, do you,
for a boat that holds a crew of twenty ? But the cost
of diving for pearls is not in the boat or the apparatus;
it costs lives. Many of the divers are eaten by sharks
before they return with the year's pearl harvest; others
lose limbs and health. I wish you could see the odd
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
A R A B I A
shaped oars the Arabs use in these boats. They consist of
a round pole with a sort of barrel-head or spoon shaped
board tied to one end. The boat builders always use twine
and rope rather than nails or screws to put their boats to-
gether. The boys of Bahrein can make beautiful sailing
boats to play with out of bits of date-stick and strings.
RIVER BOAT, BUSRAH.
Each fishing boat has a sort of figure-head and this is
generally covered with the skin of a sheep or goat. This
animal is sacrificed on the day when the boat is first
launched, just as we give the boat a name and put flags on
it. It is a very old custom to offer a blood sacrifice when a
boat is first put into the water.
Not only in the villages on the coasts of the Red Sea and
the Persian Gulf are there boat builders and sailors; Arabia
has two large rivers that help to make its northern boundary
and they are highways of traffic.
Our picture shows a river boat on the canal at Busrah. It
goes the long journey from Busrah to Bagdad over five
hundred miles or even to Hillah and the other towns on the
Euphrates river. This kind of boat has a cabin in the bow
and can carry a large cargo of wheat or wool. It sails by
all the interesting country which was once the home of
Abraham and is still called Mesopotamia.
The largest boats used by the Arabs are called dhows or
buggalows. You will hear something more about these
boats in the chapter on the slave trade.
The carpenters of Arabia, like the boat builders, work in
a very old-fashioned way. But they are much less skillful
in their work. You often see well-built boats but never a
well-made door or a window that shuts properly. Perhaps
the fault is with their tools and perhaps they are not as
skillful as they once were in using them.
The Arab carpenter uses no bench or vise; he squats upon
the ground in the shade of some old building or tree and
carries all his tools in a small basket with him. He has
four hands instead of- the two hands of an American
carpenter, for his feet are bare and he can work as well
with his toes as you can with your fingers. It is wonderful
to see how an Arab carpenter can hold a board with his
toes while his hands are busy sawing or planing it!
I never see one of these carpenters using his toes so
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cleverly without thinking that we who wear shoes and
stockings and only use our feet for walking have lost one of
the powers that the Arabs still possess, A carpenter's
handsome handiwork in Arabia should be called his toesome
toey-work; don't you think so ? In the picture at the end of
this chapter you see an Arab carpenter's tools. His saw is
exactly opposite to an ordinary saw as the teeth all point
the wrong way! But you know he pulls the tool so it is
SAWING A BEAM.
all right. The plane has four handles instead of one. The
gimlet is like ours but instead of a brace and bit to make
holes, the Arab uses a fiddle-string stretched on a bow
which he twists once or twice around his borer, or auger-
bit. Then he fiddles away until he has made a hole.
It is very strange to see two Arab carpenters sawing a
beam as you find them in the picture.
Time is not valuable in the East because the days are long
and life is easy and the people are never in a hurry. Never
do anything to-day that can be done to-morrow is their
motto. So they spend a half hour in fixing the beam on a
tripod; then they pull and push and push and pull the great
clumsy saw blade up and down and in an hour or so the
beam is cut in two. What would such carpenters say if
they were to visit an American sawmill and see the gang-
saw cut six boards out of a log at once just as easy as youi
mother cuts a cheese ? Arabia and its carpenters are very
far behind us in civilisation. The whole country is in need
of schools and industrial missions so that the Arab boys
may learn to handle tools and make furniture and build
In America there is hardly a boy living but he can drive a
AN ARAB CARPENTER'S TOOLS.
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nail and saw off a board and put up a shelf. In Arabia only
carpenters' sons can do these things; the ordinary boy does
not even know how to use a jack-knife; he never had one.
A short definition of Arabia would be "a land without
tools." Ritter, the great geographer, calls Arabia "the
anti-industrial centre of the world," which is only the same
definition in other words.
ARABIC PROVERBS AND ARABIC HUMOUR
The people of Topsy-turvy Land, like all orientals, are
very fond of proverbs and short, bright sayings. You know
that even to-day there are men who go about in the coffee
shops of Arabia to tell stories, just as you have read in the
Arabian Nights. Some of their stories are very interesting
and some of their proverbs are wise. Others are not inter-
esting and many of their stories are too bad to repeat. Even
some of their proverbs bear the mark of their topsy-turvy
religion and are only half true. Judge them for yourself.
Here are fifty examples; which do you think is the best
proverb among them ? Are they all good ?
First seek your neighbour, then build your house.
First get a companion, then go on the road.
Whoever dies in a strange land, dies a martyr.
When the judge is oppressive, the very air is, too.
Don't cut your head off with your tongue.
Keep your dog hungry and he will follow you.
Leave off sin, then ask forgiveness.
Every horse knows its rider.
Talk is feminine, but a good answer is masculine.
With little food a bed tastes good.
A trotting dog is better than a sleeping lion.
Every girl is beautiful in her father's eyes.
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His tongue is sweeter than dates but his hands are as hard
There is no perfume after the wedding.
Clouds do not fear the barking of dogs.
A bird catches a bird.
Poverty is the mother of deceptions.
The fruit of haste is repentance.
That man is like the Kaaba ; he goes nowhere but every
one comes to him.
The tongue of a fool is the key to his destruction.
The needle clothes others but is itself naked.
If the owl were game to eat, the gunner would not have
passed by the ruined castle.
Happy is the man whose enemy is wise.
Time is stingy of honour.
The best generosity is quick.
If your neighbour is honey, don't lick him all up.
If you don't know a man's parents look at his appearance.
What a strange world if all wool were red!
Fall but don't bawl.
Your enemy will love you when the ass becomes a
Wait, donkey, till the grass grows.
A loaned garment is not warm.
He is a hard man; his name is Rock, son of a Cliff.
The oppression of a cat is better than the justice of a rat.
While I was fishing, I was caught.
A blacksmith came to shoe the Pasha's horse and a frog
in the pond stuck out her foot too.
One nettle seed will ruin a garden.
Who speaks the whole truth will get a broken head.
What's the good of a house without food ?
Ask experience but don't neglect the doctor.
She wears seven veils but has no modesty.
He fasted a year and breakfasted on an onion.
A false friend is an open enemy.
They gave me no food, but the smoke from their kitchen
When the lion is away, the hyenas play.
They said to the blind man, throw away your stick; he
replied, why desert an old friend ?
Haste is of the devil; deliberation, of God.
They put the dog's tail in the press forty years, and when
it came out it still had a curl.
Lucky days do not come in a bunch.
Look for a thing where you lost it.
Some of these resemble our own proverbs and others may
perplex you at first. Of course they are all better in Arabic
than in the translation. The people of Arabia seldom or
never engage in practical jokes, but they are often very
witty in their remarks. The Caliph Mansur once met an
Arab on the desert and said to him: " Give thanks to God
who has caused the plague to cease that ravaged thy coun-
"God is too good," the Arab answered, "to punish us
with two such scourges at the same time as the plague and
An Arab poet sent his book to a famous author. " Dost
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thou want fame?" said the latter, "then hang thy book up
in the market-place where all can see it."
" But how will they know the author ?"
"Why, just hang yourself close to the book! "
Here is another story that is told about a Moslem preacher.
One Friday when the people were gathered in the mosque
to pray and to hear the sermon, he got up in the pulpit and
asked the audience if they knew what he intended to preach
"No," they replied.
"Well, then, I shall not tell you," and he stepped down.
The next Friday he asked the same question, and now,
taught by experience, they answered:
"Yes, we know."
"Well, then, I need not tell you," and again he stepped
The third Friday when the same question was put, the
people said, "Some of us know and some don't know."
"In that case," said the preacher-wag, "let those of you
who know tell those that don't know." And again there
was no sermon.
And now to close this chapter here is a very topsy-turvy
story with a puzzle in it:
The Arabs relate that when the prophet Jonah fled from
Joppa to Tarshish, there were thirty passengers, all told, in
the ship. The storm grew very fierce, and out of fear, the
captain determined to throw half the crew overboard, that is,
fifteen men. But he knew that fifteen of the thirty were
true believers, and fifteen were infidels, and among them,
Jonah also. To avoid suspicion and accomplish his purpose
he put the thirty men all in a row in such a way that by
counting out every ninth man, the believers alone remained
and the unbelievers were all of them one by one cast into
This is the way he arranged them ; every dot stands for
an unbeliever, and the strokes for believers— thirty alto-
IMf il'fJI-J'*lf'--l' # ll-
PUZZLE OF THE THIRTY MEN.
You begin to count from the left, as the captain did, and
if you mark out every ninth man you can keep- on counting
out the ninth men until only upright strokes are left.
From your knowledge of arithmetic, can you tell me the
reason of this puzzle ?
The Arabs remember the puzzle by some verses in which
every dotted letter stands for an unbeliever and those that
have no dots stand for Moslems.
You see that even the story of Jonah and the whale is
topsy-turvy out in Arabia!
GOLD, FRANKINCENSE AND MYRRH
In olden times Arabia was a much more important
country than it is to-day. Before there were large sea-
going ships, all the trade between India, Persia, even China,
on the east, and Egypt on the west, was carried on .camels.
The caravans at that time used to cross Arabia in all
directions, and the men who drove these camel-trains grew
wealthy, as railroad magnates do to-day. We read about
this early traffic on these highways of the desert in the Old
Testament as well as in the old Greek histories. The prov-
ince of Yemen was celebrated for its wealth and civilisation
as early as the time of Solomon. It was then called Sheba
and -the old capital was called Marib, a little' northeast of
the present city of Sanaa. There are still many extensive
ruins and inscriptions which testify to the height of their
civilisation. We read of one of the queens of Sheba (the
Arabs say she was named Bilhis) who came to prove
Solomon with hard questions. She came with a large
caravan of camels bearing spices and gold in abundance;
her present to Solomon consisted of "an hundred and
twenty talents of gold, and of spices great abundance, and
precious stones." Gold is no longer found in Arabia but it
was undoubtedly once very plentiful there. All the old
writers speak of Arabia as a gold country. One of the
Greek geographers speaks of a stream in which large
nuggets of gold were found. Some people think Ophir
was in Arabia. However that may be, the traveller Burton
explored the northwestern part of the peninsula and found
old mines and even traces of gold dust. If Job lived in the
land of Midian we can well understand how he could de-
scribe mining operations so well as he does in the twenty-
eighth chapter of his book.
Frankincense and myrrh were also carried across Arabia
by the caravans, and both of these precious gums came
from Arabia itself and are still found there. One of the
oldest articles of commerce was incense. The gum was
BRANCH OF INCENSE TREE.
used in sacrifices and in all the heathen temple worship as
well as by the Jews in their worship. One thousand talents'
weight of frankincense was brought every year to Darius,
the Persian king, as tribute from Arabia. The present
incense country is southern Arabia, especially Hadramaut.
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Here the incense tree (of which you see a small branch in
the picture) grows. The young trees are cut with a knife,
and from the incisions made in the bark a milk-like juice
comes out. When it has had time to harden, the large
clear globules are scraped off into baskets and the inferior
kind that has run down the bark is collected separately.
It is shipped from Arabia to Bombay or goes out from
Aden and still commands a good price. In some Roman
Catholic churches this incense is burnt every Sunday and
if you will go to a large druggist he may be able to show
you pieces of Arabian incense.
Myrrh and frankincense are frequently mentioned to-
gether. Both are sweet-smelling gums and both came
originally from Arabia. According to a Greek legend,
Myrrha was the daughter of one of the kings of Cyprus
who angered her father and when he attempted to stab her,
fled to Arabia. Here she was changed into a tree called
myrrh! A few of these trees are still found in Yemen, but
myrrh is not at all as plentiful as it once was in Arabia. It
is a low, thorny, ragged-looking tree with bright green
leaves. The gum exudes from cracks in the bark near the
root of the plant. When dry it is of a rich brown colour
and has a bitter taste. The word "myrrh" in Arabic
means bitter, and I think that is the origin of the name
given to the tree and not the foolish story of the Greek
mythology. You must look up all the references in the
Bible to myrrh. I wonder whether the myrrh which Nico-
demus used to embalm the body of our Saviour for His
burial came from Arabia ? In Matthew's gospel we read of
the wise men who came from the East to worship Jesus.
" And when they had opened their treasures they presented
unto Him gifts; gold and frankincense and myrrh." Do
you not think that these wise men came from Arabia, even
as the queen of Sheba did, to see the king of the Jews?
Perhaps Isaiah prophesied of their coming when he wrote
concerning Arabia: "The multitude of camels shall cover
thee the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from
Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and
they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord." At any rate
we are quite sure that the frankincense they brought came
from Arabia. There is a great deal in the Bible about this
country and there are many beautiful promises for the re-
demption of its people. Arabs were present at Pentecost
and the first missionary to Arabia was the Apostle Paul.
God has not forgotten His promises and we must all pray
that soon they may be fulfilled. No one has yet been to
tell the children of Hadramaut, who gather the incense-
gum, the story of Jesus' birth and of His death on the cross.
There is not a single missionary in all that country; no one
has been to tell the news that the Babe of Bethlehem is the
King of Glory.
"Thou who in a manger
Once hast lowly lain,
Who dost now in glory
O'er all kingdoms reign,
Gather in the heathen
Who in lands afar
Ne'er have see the brightness
Of Thy guiding star."
SLAVES AND SLAVE TRADERS
The Arabs who in past ages were the merchants of the
Orient in gold, frankincense and myrrh, both then and now
traded in slaves also. And the cruel trade is not yet ended.
Would you like to hear about some boys who have darker
skins than yours, and darker hearts, because they do not
know the Lord Jesus as their own Saviour? Well, these
poor little boys were stolen from their mothers and fathers
by wicked men called Arabs, who go from Arabia to Africa
in boats to steal boys and girls and bring them here to sell
them. Each boy is sold for nearly ten pounds ($50). These
men know it is wrong in their hearts, but you see what a
lot of money they make! What does St Paul say ? " The
love of money is the root of all evil." And then the religion
of the Arab permits him to do this work of stealing and
selling boys and girls.
One night about two or three years ago, just as the sun
was setting, some little black boys were playing and fishing
near the water on the coast of Zanzibar, in East Africa; a
man came up to them and offered them some dates. Little
black and white boys are always ready to eat, are they not ?
These boys took the dates and while they were eating, the
man threw a cloth over their heads and carried them off to a
boat standing near. The Arabs caught a great many in this
way, and when the boat had as many as it could carry they
moved away and began to travel towards Arabia. The
poor children were kept in the bottom of the boat, all
huddled together, and given very little to eat and drink.
Sometimes the sea
was rough and
they were sick, so
voyage in an open
boat was not a
pleasant one. But
''Some One" was
taking notice of
these children and
He was going to
deliver them. Do
you know who
over them ? After
many days at sea
the boat came
near Muscat. A
servant of the
saw the boat and
knew there were
slaves in it. Then
the Consul got ready in a small boat and went after the big
one, They had to follow nearly all night and at last over-
took the slave-dhow. The Consul pulled alongside in a
SLAVE GIRL IN ARABIA.
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Bedden (native boat) and demanded the firearms of the
Arabs. Then he bound them and put his own sailors on
board, and brought the precious cargo of souls into Muscat
The owner of the slave-dhow was sent to prison, and the
boys and girls were given away to Christian people to train,
the missionary in Muscat getting the largest share.
This was the origin of the rescued-slave school at Muscat.
Other slaves are caught from time to time and liberated.
Sometimes they are sent to Bombay or other places in
India; a large number were once liberated at Aden and are
now in a school at Lovedale in Africa. When these poor
slave children first come from the slave ships they are very
ignorant and almost like wild animals. They need to learn
everything, and even their language is of little use to them,
as they need to learn Arabic before they can get along in
Arabia. The Muscat boys first learned English from the
missionary, but it was not easy for them.
They only knew a few words when I first went to Mus-
cat. For instance, they called all lights, such as lamps,
candles, etc., fire. Well, one night we were sitting on the
verandah with the lamp, reading, and Suliman came and
said "big fire!" We jumped up and said " where?"
Looking all around we could not see a sign of fire. Then
he said, "big fire on table." We ran into the dining-room
—still no fire. Suliman then pointed to the lamp and said
again "big fire"; so we learned by that time he wanted the
lamp for the table, as dinner was ready.
Would you like to hear how a day was spent in this Mus-
cat school when the boys were beginning to learn ? Now
the boys are all big and have scattered; they are working as
LIBERATED SLAVES AT BAHREIN.
servants in different places and some are learning a trade.
But here is a description of the early days of their training:
" We are up before dawn almost, and yet the boys are up
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before us, and have taken in their mats (beds), and are
splashing about in the big cement bath in the yard. They
do not use towels; the sun soon dries the skin, and then
they dress with one article only, a wa^eera, a piece of cloth.
After the bath they clean up the schoolroom, sweep the
yard; then they eat bread and dates and drink water.
When the meal is finished all the boys wash their hands and
put on their coats to come up-stairs. See how nicely they
march forward, two and two, just like the animals going
into Noah's Ark. They halt in front of the harmonium
'single file'— 'face about— 'toes to line!' Now we
are ready for prayers. Look, boys and girls, how quietly
these black boys stand; now we are going to sing: 'Jesus
loves me, this I know.' They love the singing, and all
make as much noise as possible. Singing finished, we read
a short passage of Scripture, and tell very simply how Jesus
loved them and died for them. They are beginning to
learn about God and who the Lord Jesus is. One morning
I held up the Bible and asked them, ' What is this ? '
" They answered, ' God's Book.'
11 ' And what do we read about in God's Book ? '
"They all answered, ' The Lord is my shepherd I shall not
want.' I had been teaching them this Psalm, but I did not
know how well they knew it; it was a nice answer, do not
you think so ? After the scripture lesson we kneel and
pray, all the boys repeating, 'O God, wash me from all my
sins in the blood of my Saviour, and I shall be whiter than
snow; give me Thy Holy Spirit, for Jesus' sake. Amen.'
Will you ask God to make the boys pray this prayer from
their hearts ? You see they are only just beginning to learn
about God. Before they came to us they were quite
heathen. Prayer ended we all march into another room,—
you may come too, and begin lessons. The big boys are
learning sentences now; the little ones are still at A, B, C, i,
2, 3. At the end of two hours of spelling, reading and
writing, a little simple drill and the morning school is ended.
Some of the boys help prepare their fish and rice for dinner,
and others make baskets. At three o'clock all march up
again for sewing. And let me tell you a secret; the smallest
boy of all sews the neatest. After this the boys get ready
to go for a bath in the sea, or for a walk. When we
return we have evening prayers, and then the boys eat their
supper of rice and fish, take their mats into the garden and
go to sleep."
That was the way in which eighteen rescued slave boys
began to live a life with more light, and therefore also more
responsibility than their former life as savage children in
But what of the thousands who are not rescued, but are
taken to places along the coast of Arabia and sold ? Their
lot is miserable. In Mecca there is a slave market where
boys and girls are sold to the highest bidder. At Sur, in
South Arabia, there are still many Arabs who make money
by buying and selling poor negro children. Only last month
a little negro lad called "Diamond" told me how he had
been captured and sold to a merchant in Persia. I am very
glad that I can tell you that the little lad escaped to a British
ship and is now free.
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A writer who travelled in the Red Sea says that he passed
hundreds of slave-dhows. What a lot of misery that means ;
not only misery to the parents of these stolen children in
Africa, but to the children themselves. There may be many
slaves in Arabia who get enough to eat and have good
clothing to wear, but they always remain slaves at the best,
and are taught a false religion by their masters. I think
nearly all of them were happier at home in Africa than in
It is hard to love the cruel slave trader, is it not ? Yet
Jesus told us to " love our enemies." The way to root out
the slave trade is to evangelise the slave trader. The entire
west coast of Arabia has not a single missionary; no wonder
that here the slave trade is carried on without hindrance!
Will you not pray for western Arabia, and also for the Arab
slave dealers that God may soften their hearts and make
them stop their bad work ? And will not all the girls pray
for their enslaved black sisters in Arabia, whose lot is very
ABOUT SOME LITTLE MISSIONARIES
Some little missionaries came to Arabia a few years before
any of the American missionaries did, and have been coming
ever since. Most of them were born in a country not far
from Arabia, and yet only one of them visited Arabia before
Mohammed was born. Although they never write reports
of their work in the papers, yet I have seen a few splendid
little accounts of their work written on tablets of flesh with
tears for ink. It is just because their work is done so much
in secret and in out-of-the-way places, that they are gener-
ally overlooked and often underestimated. They receive
only bare support and no salary, and get along in the most
self-denying way by fasting and living all together, packed
like herring in a dark, close room, except when they go out
into the sunshine on their journeys.
Most of them came out in the steerage of the big ships
from London, but none of them were seasick at all through-
out the entire voyage. They do not go about two and two
unless it is that one of the old ones goes hand in hand with
a younger brother for support. Generally a score or more
travel together. They never complain of being tired or dis-
couraged, and never get fever or cholera, although I have
talked and slept with them at Bahrein when I had fever my-
self. Never yet has one of them died on a sick-bed, al-
though they often hide away and disappear for months.
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On one or two occasions I have heard of a small company
of them being burned at the stake, but 1 was told that not a
groan escaped from their lips, nor were their companions
frightened the least bit. With my own eyes I have seen
one or two of them torn asunder and trampled upon by
those who hate Jesus Christ and His kingdom and His little
missionaries. Yet the only sound to be heard was the
blasphemies of their persecutors, who could not answer
them in any other way.
It is very strange indeed, that when once one or two of
them get acclimatised and learn the language, they are
bound to their work by so many tiny cords of love that
they seldom fall apart from their work or fall out one with
the other. There are more than sixty different names and
ages among them, and yet they all have one family accent.
Some of them are medical missionaries and can soothe and
heal even broken hearts and prevent broken heads. There
are two ladies among them, but they seldom go about
alone, and, especially in Arabia, the men do most of the
preaching. Most of them are evangelists or apostles and
teachers. And their enterprise and push! why one of them
told me the other day that he wanted " to preach the gospel
in the regions beyond" Mecca, and that even there "every
knee should bow to Jesus" Why, you begin to see them
everywhere in the Persian Gulf and around Muscat and
Aden. Last year a few of them went to Jiddah with the
pilgrims. They dress very plainly, but often in bright
Oriental colours (one just came in all in green); on one or
two occasions I have seen them wear gold when visiting a
rich man, but there was no pride about them, and they put
on no airs in their talk.
How many are there of these little missionaries, do you
ask ? Over three thousand eight hundred and forty visited
and left the three stations of the Arabian Mission in the
Persian Gulf last year. But, as I told you, they are so
modest that only a score of them perhaps sent in any
MISSION HOUSE AT BUSRAH.
account of their work, and that even was sent through a
third party by word of mouth. I have heard it whispered
that a faithful record of all their journeys and speeches is
kept, but that these are put on file to be published all at
once on a certain great day, when missionaries all get their
permanent discharge. What a quiet, patient, faithful, loving
body of workers they are. Even when it is very, very hot,
and after a hard day's work, they never get out of temper
as other missionaries sometimes do when in hot discussion
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with a bigoted Moslem. And yet how plainly they tell the
truth — they do not even fear a Turkish Pasha; but that is
because they have very cunningly all obtained a Turkish
passport and a permit to preach anywhere unmolested.
Of course, you have guessed my riddle, or else you will
want to know what these missionaries cost and why we do
not employ more of them; and who sent them out, and to
what Board they are responsible; and who buys them new
clothes of leather and cloth; and what happens to them
when their backs are bent with age and their faces furrowed
with care, and when only they themselves can read their
title clear ?
I think no one will have to help you guess my riddle or
tell you that the four missionaries who go about the most
are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and that the two ladies
are Esther and Ruth. Now you have guessed that the
Little Missionaries are the Books of the Bible. Do you
know how many there are ? How many in the Old Testa-
ment ? How many in the New Testament ? Perhaps some
of you know the names of all the sixty-six! But it is not
enough to know the names of these Books that we have
called Little Missionaries. We must know what is in them,
we must know the message they bear to this sinful and
troubled world. And we must all do our part to send out
this blessed message of peace, comfort, and eternal life. It
may not be your work to go to Arabia, but yet you have a
work to do of one kind or another for Arabia. The Bible
must be sent there. And now may I ask all the boys and
girls who read this to pray for the Little Missionaries?
Pray that they may go ahead and prepare the way of the
Lord all over this dark peninsula, from the palm groves
of Busrah to the harbour of Aden, and from the sea of Oman
to the unholy cities,— Mecca and Medina.
"Jesus, tender Shepherd
Thou hast other sheep
Far away from shelter
Where dark shadows creep.
Seeking Saviour, bring them home
That they may no longer roam.
"Jesus, tender Shepherd
While Thou leadest me,
As Thy little helper
Faithful may I be.
Seeking others far and wide
Drawing lost ones to Thy side."
TURNING THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN
About eighteen hundred and fifty years ago two mission-
aries came to a town in Asia Minor, called Thessalonica,
and began to preach. They did nobody any harm and
only talked about the love of Jesus Christ for sinners. A
great number of people believed and attended their meet-
ings. Some of the noble and wealthy women of the town
also became Christians and for about three weeks the
preaching went on unhindered. However, as soon as the
enemies of the gospel saw that Paul and Silas were meeting
with success they did their best to stir up trouble. A mob
collected and with a great deal of noise and shouting pulled
some of the new believers through the streets, crying:
" They that have turned the world upside down are come
hither also! " Just as it was in Thessalonica so it has been
in every place where the gospel has been preached. The
word of God does turn the world upside down. The
gospel is powerful and its effect is often at first to stir up
the envy and hatred of men who love not God. When the
heathen are worshipping idols and enjoying sinful pleasures
they like to be let alone. A thief does not like the police-
man's lantern. Those who do dark things hate the light.
The Moslem's idea of right and wrong is so crooked that
he does not like to have it exposed.
Supposing there was a country where all the people wore
THE SULTAN'S SOLDIERS.
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
their garments wrong side out because they knew no better,
and then some one came wearing his clothes properly and
trying to teach these ignorant people, would they not think
him mad and say why do you not turn your coat inside out ?
That is the very way Moslems regard the missionary.
They often tell us, "You are so good and kind why
don't you accept the true religion and become a be-
liever?" You must not think that the heathen or the
Mohammedans are anxious to hear the gospel. They do
not know of its value and so do not know what they
miss. When they hear that the gospel demands a holy life
and forbids all swearing and lying and uncleanness, they
think such a religion too difficult and prefer their own.
All their topsy-turvy ways and thoughts seem perfectly
correct to themselves until God's Spirit enlightens them.
It is no wonder therefore that there is always opposition
and trouble when missionaries (even such quiet little
missionaries as we read about), come to a village. When
you want to put a thing straight that is upside down there
is sure to be an overturning. The farmer is not sorry
because his rude plow breaks the hard soil and bruises the
weeds and turns all the greensward under. Oh no; he
does that to make some better green grow. Wait three
months and you will see the whole field covered with a
waving harvest of wheat. Ploughing is pretty rough work
on weeds. Opening a new mission station is pretty rough,
I admit, on a false religion. And the wise men cannot help
knowing this and so they repeat the words of the old
Greeks when they see a missionary settle down in their
village: "Those that have turned the world upside down
are come hither also . . . saying that there is another
The king of all hearts in the Mohammedan world is their
prophet Mohammed. They love his name and imitate
his acts to the least particular. Much more faithfully, I
fear, than we imitate Jesus, our example. The great ques-
tion in Arabia is whether Mohammed or Jesus is to rule the
country. Mohammed has had it very much his own way
for thirteen hundred years, but now his dominion is being
disputed. God's providence is working in many ways to
help His gospel. I sometimes think that we might call His
providence the plow and His gospel the good seed. For
example, what a strange thing it is for the Arabs to find
Christian governments interfering with their slave trade.
Does not the Koran approve of slave holders and did not
Mohammed buy and sell slaves ? And then when the big
merchant ships come to the coasts of Arabia and the
ignorant Arabs learn of other lands and peoples and civili-
sation they cannot help losing some of their pride and
prejudice. They compare the government of England in
Aden with that of the Turks in Sanaa and then — well
they feel like turning the world upside down themselves!
The Mohammedan religion has such a strong hold in
Arabia that it will not be overcome in one day or by one
battle. We must expect a long and hard fight. Before
Topsy-turvy Land becomes a Christian land there will be
martyrs in Arabia. Every Moslem who accepts Christ does
so at his peril, and yet there are those who dare to confess
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Christ before men. When you read in mission reports of
troubles and opposition, of burning up books, imprisoning
colporteurs and expelling missionaries you must not think
that the gospel is being defeated. It is conquering. What
we see under such circumstances is only the dust in the
wake of the ploughman. God is turning the world upside
down that it may be right side up when Jesus comes. He
that plougheth should plough in hope. We may not be
able to see a harvest yet in this country but, furrow after
furrow, the soil is getting ready for the seed.
Don't some of you want to come and do a day's plough-
ing for the King? There are some splendid stretches of
virgin prairie yet untouched between Bahrein and Mecca.
TURNING THE WORLD DOWNSIDE UP
The story of mission work in Arabia is not very long, but
it is full of interest. From the day when Mohammed pro-
claimed himself an apostle in Mecca until about sixteen
years ago when Ion Keith Falconer came to Aden as a mis-
sionary, all of Topsy-turvy Land lay in darkness as regards
the gospel. For thirteen hundred years Mohammed had it
all his own way in Arabia. Now his dominion over the
hearts of men, is in dispute, and there is no doubt that the
final, full victory will rest with Jesus the Son of God, the
Saviour of the world.
Would you like to hear something, before we close this
book about the missions that are now working in this coun-
try ? There are three missions. The missionaries of the
Church of England began work in Bagdad about the year
1882. Bagdad is not at all a small town. It has a popula-
tion of one hundred and eighty thousand people, and it was
once a very important city. You can read all about its
ancient beauty and wealth and commerce in the Arabian
Nights. Some of the palaces that Harouner Rashid visited
are still standing. In the city there are at present sixty-four
mosques, six churches and twenty-two synagogues. One-
third of the population are Jews, and there are over five
thousand Christians. Most of the latter belong to the Ro-
man Catholic faith, or to other twilight churches. The Ro-
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
man Catholic cathedral, which you see in the picture, is the
only church in all Northern Arabia that has a bell. Moslems
do not like to hear church-bells, and they were forbidden
by some rulers of the Moslem world long ago. The Prot-
estant Christians meet for worship in a dwelling-house.
The Bagdad mission has a large dispensary for the sick
where thousands of Moslems and Jews and Christians come
every year for treatment. Books are sold to the people, and
there is a school for boys and girls which is also helping to
turn down old prejudices and turn up the right side of child-
life. The Moslem children are beginning to believe that the
world is round and that Constantinople is not the capital of
The British and Foreign Bible Society is also helping to
turn this part of the world downside up. The gospel
which has been buried under many superstitions and tradi-
tions so long, is again showing its power. Colporteurs
are men who carry the Bible about, offer it to the people
and read and explain it to those whose hearts are open.
They have a hard task, but if it were not for them the " Lit-
tle Missionaries " would not get along at all.
On the way from Bagdad to Busrah, we pass Amara, an
enterprising village where the people once burned books
and threw stones at the missionary, but where now the little
Bible-shop of the American Mission shines unhindered,
" Like a little candle, burning in the night."
At Busrah, Rev. James Cantine began mission work in
1891, and ever since that time he and others have been
ploughing and sowing seed and waiting for the showers
that come before the harvest. It was at Busrah that Kamil
Abd el Messiah, the Moslem convert from Syria, died a wit-
ness for Christ. Have you read the wonderful story of his
life ? It is full of pathos and shows how in the heart and
life of at least one Moslem the Holy Spirit made topsy-turvy
things straight. There are others like Kamil in Arabia, but
many of them are still following the Master afar off, because
they fear the persecutions of men. At Busrah, there is also
a dispensary, and here too the gospel is sold and preached
and lived before the people.
Bahrein, you know, is a group of islands, and it is about
six years ago that the people first saw a missionary. Nearly
three-fourths of the population are pearl-merchants or pearl-
fishers. Will you not pray that they may learn to value the
Pearl of Great Price ?
A visit any morning in the week to the dispensary at
Bahrein, would soon convince you that here too the Arab
world is slowly but surely turning downside up. Women
learn to their delight that they have equal right to sympathy
with men, and they need not wait until the men are helped
first. The Arabs are very ignorant of medicine and their
remedies are either foolish or cruel. To " let out the
pain" in rheumatism, they burn the body with a hot iron.
All their ideas are upside down, and very few know on
which side of their body the liver is located. Now when our
mission doctors perform miracles of surgery on the maimed,
and miracles of mercy on the suffering, the result is to pre-
pare their hearts for Christ's message. To the fanatic Mos-
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
lem a Christian is "an ignorant unbeliever." But we may
put a parody on Pope's lines and say, in their case:
" A Christian is a monster of such frightful mien
That to be hated needs but to be seen.
But seen too oft familiar with his face
They first endure, then pity, then embrace."
Many of the Moslems who in gratitude are ready to em-
brace a Christian physician may yet learn to embrace Chris-
Muscat in Arabic, means "the place where something
falls." And the surroundings are so rocky and steep that
everything has a chance to tumble down except the mer-
cury in the thermometer. That is always up high. In this
hot, crowded town, the Arabian Mission opened its third
station in the year 1893. Two years before the veteran
missionary-bishop, Thomas Valpy French laid down his life
here, and the fallen standard was taken up by Peter J.
Zwemer. After five years of toil in Oman, he also entered
into rest. George E. Stone, his successor in Oman, was
also worthy of the martyr's crown, and his simple grave at
Muscat tells how "he arose, forsook all, and followed
This part of Arabia is sacred because of what these three
pioneers suffered to open the door for the gospel. I do not
think the King will leave a province where He has buried
so much treasure in the hands of the enemy, do you?
The work of preaching in Oman is at present full of
promise, and the people seem willing to hear. The
PICTURED FOR CHILDREN
American Bible Society is sending the Scriptures all over
The last mission station in Arabia we mention, is the first
that people generally visit. Aden is a coaling station as
well as a missionary centre and passengers travelling to the
Orient nearly always stop here on the way. There are
Christian churches and hospitals and government schools.
At Sheikh Ottoman, a short distance from Aden, Ion Keith
Falconer, the first modern missionary to this land, began his
work. He died here also, but his life was so full of love
and sacrifice that his work is still going on. The Free
Church of Scotland mission has medical work, an industrial
school for waifs and a memorial chapel. From a great dis-
tance patients come to be cured, and Moslems to buy the
The great lighthouse on the island of Perim, near Aden,
throws its light for ten miles out on the dark sea and saves
ships from the breakers. But the light of the gospel in the
Bible depot at Aden, shines two hundred miles to the north
as far as Sanaa, and three hundred miles east to Makalla on
the coast. Yet I dare say it costs more to keep up the light-
house at Perim (not to speak of building it) than it does to
keep open all the Bible lighthouses of all Arabia. Perhaps
Keith Falconer thought of this when he said in his farewell
" We Christians have a great and imposing war office, but
a very small army. While vast continents are shrouded in
almost utter darkness and hundreds of millions suffer the
horrors of heathenism and Islam, the burden of proof lies
upon you to show that the circumstances in which God has
placed you, were meant by Him to keep you out of the for-
eign mission field."
Before you lay aside this book, will you not ask yourself
why you should not go out to Arabia, or to some other land
yet shrouded in darkness, and shine for Jesus ?
An Old Friend in a New Dress.
Seyyidi-'l-Fadi-'l Gani, Our Lord, the rich Saviour,
Kalbehoo yuhibbooni, His heart loves me,
Fa lahoo kooloo saghier. And to Him all little ones
Yaltajee wahoo'1 kadeer. He protects us and is strong.
Kad faaka hubban.
Kad faaka hubban.
Kad faaka hubban.
Yes His love exceeds alL
Yes His love exceeds all.
Yes His love exceeds alL
Jesus loves you.
Will 'Delight E-Very Child LcOer
the CHINESE -BOyAND GI*RL
Isaac Taylor Headland
Illustrated. 4to, $1.00 Net
' VEN more interesting and quaint than Dr. Head-
, land's 'Chinese Mother Goose' rhymes of last
year. The almond-eyed boys and girls have a great
variety of games, many resembling those of Western
lands, others different but queer and funny, and some
of these latter our boys and girls may like to learn.
The pictures and page-decoration are of the same jolly
and curious kind found in the ' Mother Goose' book.
The two books together really contain the results of a
thorough study of Chinese child-life, and are at the
same time immensely entertaining ! "— The Outlook.
"Whoever argues from the solemnity of the adult,
'Mongolian in a strange land,' that the Chinese at
home must have a sad boyhood will be undeceived on
reading this pleasing book. It is as full of fun, in its
way, as the preceding ' Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes '
of the same observing and careful scholar. For chil-
dren of any growth this book will afford endless
amusement and reveal a new and unsuspected China.
It makes two worlds kin."— New York Evening Post.
CHINESE MOTHE'R GOOSE
Translated and Illustrated by
Isaac T5aylor Headland
Small quarto, Boards, Fully Illustrated, 160 Pages, $1.25
"We have rarely seen a more charming book for
children than this. Certainly it is in the fullest sense
unique. Here he has translated many rhymes common
in the Chinese nursery, and each page presents one of
these rhymes, both in the Chinese characters and in
an English translation into verse, while each is accom-
panied by a little picture of Chinese life directly repro-
duced from a photograph. In every respect the book
is at the same time thoroughly Chinese and yet attract-
ive to the eyes of American children." — The Outlook.
"They MaK.e Two Worlds Kin"
By AMY LE FEUVRE
i2mo, decorated boards, 30c.
" Bunny is a little girl, and her friends are a rabbit, a pony
and a lark. Each one narrates his experiences to the child as she
is alone with him in the open room. Children will listen eagerly to
the reading of these little tales, and will doubtless be profited by
them." — N. Y. Observer.
" 'Bunny' herself was not a rabbit, as one might suspect. She
was a little lonely girl, and her name was Dora. She had a little,
dark, silky head, and big, blue eyes, which were always staring out
at the world with big thoughts behind them, and she was still only
when some one told her a story."— IV estern Christian Advocate.
JTRIC'S GOOD NEWS
Illustrated, 1 2mo, decorated boards, 30c.
41 Eric Wallace is an invalid lad, delicate, sweet and winsome,
who by precept and example leads erring and scoffing men to faith
in Christ. The good work is done in a natural and perfectly childish
way, without any painful exhibitions of precocity or goodishness.
The story is simply a glimpse here and there into the life of a pure
hearted, sweet natured, happy soul who leads others into the light
because he is in the light himself. It is a tender and beautiful story
of Christian influence, conduct and example."— Christian Work.
WHAT THE WIND DID
i2mo, decorated boards, 30c.
" Miss Le Feuvre's stories about child life are charmingly
well written and suggestive." — Christian Advocate.
" Her stories are as bright and interesting and touching as if
Juliana ^wing or I aura Richards had written them." — Evangelist.
"A clever tale, written with a high purpose. ... A suc-
cessful endeavor of one whose pen has found its highest employ-
ment in the realistic sketching of child life."— Christian Advocate.
gULBS AND BLOSSOMS
An Easter Booklet. With illustrations by
Eveline Lance, i2mo, cloth, 50c.
" Many sweet lessons of faith and love drop from the lips of
these little ones, and how they brought forth fruit in the heart of
one of the aunts is impressively brought out. The book is daintily
bound, and pretty illustrations brighten it" — Louisville Observer.
" An engaging Easter story in relation to two children who
are sent from India to their aunt in England to acquire strength
and vigor from a cool climate and other benefits from association
with English people." — Christian Intelligencer,
By AMY LE FEUVRE
PROBABLE SONS Vioth thousand.
Illustrated, i2mo, cloth, 35 c. New illustrated
edition. Small 4to, decorated cloth, 50c.
11 We do not know the author of this very touching tale. It is
equal to ' Fishin' Jimmy ' in its way, while as an illustration of the
text, 'A little child shall lejd them,' it is the most irresistibly pa-
thetic tale we remember to have seen. Among the brightest, most
charming and irresistible of child-creations in our recent literature."
— The Independence.'" ,,,,,.,, ,
"One of the brightest, sweetest, most helpful little books
for young and old that we have seen for many a day. It is alive
with that sort of humor that is so close to pathos that one laughs
and cries in the same breath. It speaks to the very heart, and
appeals strongly to all 'probable sons.' in whatever station or con-
dition, in an irresistible way; and with winning simplicity and
confidence shows the readiness of the Father to forgive and to
receive." — Christian Work.
f EDDY'S BUTTON
Illustrated. Small 4to, decorated cloth, 50c.
"A captivating story. Teddy and Nancy win our hearts.
Tedd'ys brave fight with himself commands admiration, and stout-
hearted, handsome Nancy, a real girl in all her doings, conquers
the heart. A very good story is this for the children."— The
Christian Intelligencer. ...... ,
"'Teddy's Button' was taken from the coat of his dying sol-
dier father, and in the hands of the boy became a sort of talisman
and an incentive to valiant service as a soldier of Jesus Christ.
The story is one of fascinating interest, and the moral of it is not
far to seek. The little folks will need no urging to read it."— The
J± THOUGHTLESS SEVEN
Profusely illustrated. Small 4to, decorated
" Thunder," "Li" (Lightning), "Taters," " Honey," "Pat,"
"Pixie," and "Doodle-doo," make up the rollicking group whose
adventures and chatter are here recorded. They are mercurial
and insurrectionary to the last degree, and fly in a perpetual "merry-
go-round." But a strain of seriousness ea^ly begins to develop,
leading up into large and noble Christian exper ence and ambition.
The incarnation of religion in daily life where it is " not too good for
human nature's daily food," is admirably exemplified and com-
mended." — Watchman.
"A big and a bright and interesting family is here set before
us. How one of them began to think, and then by acting on her
thinking led the others into the right way ihe little sketch tells.
By AMY LE FEUVRE
QN THE EDGE OF THE
Illustrated. i2mo, cloth, $1.00.
"A delightful story of a quiet country life, of one who was
eager to do good to her fellow-beings, and who improved every op-
portunity to do so. Especially may those whose home is in the
quiet country, and who think that there ?s no opportunities for doing
good to be found there, find hints of ways in which much good may
be done. The lives into which the least sunshine comes— these
are the ones which need our help the most." — Christian Herald.
" This is another of those charming and healthy stories for
young people for which this author has become distinguished. It
is a good book for the home or the Sunday-school library."— Zion's
Illustrated, i6mo, cloth, 75c.
" A story of a girl who, being left without a home, went to live
with her guardian, who had a number of children. Hilda Thorn
was trying to be a Christian, and her associates were very worldly,
which made it hard for her. It is an interesting story, with
the reality of experience." — The Religious Herald.
"An intensely interesting story. The author plainly illustrates
the possibility of magnifying Christian life and character amid the
whirl of gayety and pleasure in social life. Character speaks with
effectiveness, and the world bows in acknowledgment to practical
Christianity in a positive religious character. The author evidently
has succeeded in making her characters seem to be real and pos-
sible. "—Christian Intelligencer.
JJIS BIG OPPORTUNITY
Illustrated. i2mo, cloth, 75c.
"Aside from its lively interest, this story will be good for boys
to read. It does not preach, but its influence is strong for the
right, and it leaves a smack of hearty encouragement in the youth-
ful mind." — The Independent.
" Here is a capital little story for boys, for girls, or for grown
people. Of course, it is a story with a moral, and the moral is al-
ways obvious ; but it does not interrupt the story, which is good."
— Church Standard.
The story is a very pretty one, and nice to give little children
or to put in a Sunday-school library. The sentiment is not mawk-
ish nor the religious element overdone.
IN U. S. A.