The Shaykh of Shaykhs: Mithqal al-Fiyaz and Tribal Leadership in Modern Jordan

Jordan’s stability in a region long beset by unrest is a testament to its Hashemite monarchy leadership and the tribal base supporting it. Among the largest (more than 150,00-strong) and most influential of Jordan’s tribes is the Bani Sakhr confederacy, whose most famous and politically influential shaykh was Mithqal al-Fayiz (1880-1967). A hero of the World War I Arab Revolt, Mithqal learned tribal leadership from his father and grandfather. Gaining trust and fame “as a leader of raids” in his youth, he matured into a respected mediator whose “judgment combined the conventions and precedents of the law with societal norms and his own views” of justice. But he is best remembered as a nation-builder whose “fierce opposition to early attempts to extend British rule east of the Jordan River paved the way for Abdullah bin Hussein to establish the Emirate of Transjordan” and ultimately led to the modern state. This detailed biography deeply explores the power and impact of Bedouin tribal leadership.     
A Nile Anthology: Travel Writing Through the Centuries
A Nile Anthology: Travel Writing Through the Centuries
Next
The Shaykh of Shaykhs: Mithqal al-Fiyaz and Tribal Leadership in Modern Jordan

Stay up to date

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest features, events, reviews, teaching aids and digital-only content. 

To take advantage of all features on this website, it is recommended that you allow all cookies.
Read more