MIDDLE EAST: Old Bedouin Custom

Since Imam Yahya of Yemen's death (TIME, March 1), rival contenders have been fighting a civil war for his desert imamate. An Arab League delegation, out from Cairo to investigate affairs in Yemen, has got no farther than Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia. There the delegates have shivered through the desert nights behind mud-brick walls, warmed only by their camel's-hair abayas (cloaks).

Last week King Ibn Saud, feeling sorry for his guests, sent each Arab League delegate a hand-picked bondmaiden from his harem. Conscientious, westernized Abdul Rahman Azzam Pasha, secretary general of the Arab League and head of the delegation,...

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