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Freya Stark -
A Winter in Arabia (1940)
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The camel is an ugly animal, seen from above. Its shoulders slope formless like a sack, its silly little ears and fluff of bleached curls behind them have a respectable, boarding-house look, like some faded neatness that dresses for propriety but never dressed for love.
There are, I sometimes think, only two sorts of people in this world — the settled and the nomad — and there is a natural antipathy between them, whatever the land to which they may belong.
The perpetual charm of Arabia is that the traveler finds his level there simply as a human being; the people's directness, deadly to the sentimental or pedantic, likes the less complicated virtues.
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Each time dawn appears, the mystery is there in its entirety.
January 31, 1893
May 9, 1993
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