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Hboob al-Reeh

A Bedouin Legend

By Khaled Al-Sheikh
Translated by Hind Husseini

Most Palestinian narratives and stories concerning Bir al-Sabe’ and the Naqab are lesser-known than the many narratives that focus on the history of Palestine’s northern and coastal areas. Due to the significance of safeguarding Palestinian collective memory, researchers are currently studying the history of these areas. In this context, one of the most prominent Bedouin personalities in the history of southern Palestine must be highlighted.

This man had a remarkable, one-of-a-kind personality. He rose to prominence as a defiant and rebellious figure in the middle of the twentieth century because he refused and resisted the presence of British Mandate forces and the building of Zionist kibbutzim on his land. Remaining largely unknown in his time, he conducted commando raids and operations against the British forces. When in danger or once his mission was accomplished, he used to dart off like a ghost and vanish in a flash, leaving no trace behind. People began to refer to him as Hboob al-Reeh (Blowing Wind) because his movements were similar to the fast blowing of the wind. Only later was it revealed that this Palestinian Bedouin rebel’s name was Eid Suleiman Eid al-Sane’.

He was born in 1892 in Al-Amarah Village in the Bir al-Sabe’ district as a member of Al-Tarabin tribe, one of the most prominent and largest tribes of Badiyat al-Sham (the Syrian Desert) and Egypt. Eid Suleiman Eid al-Sane’ succeeded in terrifying and destabilizing the British forces in southern Palestine for a decade. He was a member of a rebel group of tribesmen who used hit-and-run tactics to attack British military sites. The British forces carried out merciless raids against the tribes of that region to force Hboob Al-Reeh to surrender and cease his attacks. Nonetheless, the tribes supported him, acting secretly out of fear of the British forces.

In 1935, he died as a martyr of the resistance in a fierce battle against a large troop of English soldiers who surrounded him and his fellow fighters. He refused to surrender and fought alongside his fellows until he ran out of ammunition.

It is crucial to keep this hero’s story alive in the minds of Palestinians, particularly among Palestinian Bedouins. We should be aware and proud of our ancestors’ resistance against colonization and recognize that we remain an important part of the Palestinian resistance’s past and present.

Hboob al-Reeh is a living example that proves that Bedouins fought for their land. His story refutes the Zionist claims that Bedouins surrendered without resistance and collaborated with the occupiers.

  • Khaled Al-Sheikh was born in Jordan. He earned a BA in sociology from Palestine Ahliya University and has worked in various organizations, including the Central Elections Committee. Today, he serves as an administrative and logistical coordinator for Bedouins Without Borders.

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