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Old 09-12-2013, 03:42 PM   #1
Doitsu
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Keane, J. F.: Six months in Meccah. v1. 12 Sep 2013

John Fryer Thomas Keane (1854-1937), was a British adventurer who joined a group of pilgrims on their pilgrimage from India to Mecca and Medina in 1877. (He disguised himself as a pilgrim from Bombay, and when that disguise didn't work he claimed to be a recent convert.)
Keane not only describes the pilgrimage and Mecca, but also provides an interesting insight into the prevalent thought at the time. For example, in his "census" of Mecca pilgrims, he lumps together 5% of them as "A nondescript rabble from China, the West Coast of Africa or Russia, and wild Darwaysh-looking savages from God knows where."

Since Keane's Arabic apparently wasn't that great, I took the liberty to fix some spellings that were too much off-target.

If you find this book interesting and happen to speak German, you may want to also check out Heinrich von Maltzan's much more interesting German book Meine Wallfahrt nach Mekka, which is also available at MR.
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