“Out in the Blue” Part 9 of Video Series “Distant Arabia”

26 March 2012 | 1 comment | In Search Of Oil | by Tim Barger

We invite you to enjoy part 9 of the 12 part Distant Arabia video series courtesy of Selwa Press.

The majority of the film clips posted on the Selwa Video You Tube channel are comprised of films taken in Saudi Arabia between 1937 and 1940 by Tom Barger, Les Snyder and Jerry Harriss. They are among the few moving pictures that record that critical and brief moment in the country’s history when an ancient pastoral way of life was coming to an abrupt end, to be replaced by an industrial society. Many of the Bedouin depicted had never seen an automobile let alone a movie camera before these men arrived. The herds of camels, once the lifeblood of Bedouin life, would become irrelevant. The dhows of the Gulf replaced by motor launches, the date oases, the very anchor of the Al Hasa economy, would become all but insignificant. All that remains of those days are these flickering images from a time before oil.

Selwa Press is a publishing company devoted to exploring the early days of Saudi Arabia. It’s website at www.SelwaPress.com has many related features to this time as well as a complete catalog of its publications. www.SelwaDigital.com is devoted to the company’s ebook selections and includes other titles not related to the Kingdom.

Distant Arabia part 9 – Out in the Blue

In this clip excerpted with permission from the documentary The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power based on the book of the same name by Daniel Yergin, the story of Tom Barger’s first journey to Saudi Arabia is related through his movies and letters. The complete story is told in Barger’s book Out in the Blue” Letters from Arabia 1937 – 1940, a best selling book in Saudi Arabia, now available as an ebook at www.SelwaDigital.com.


Enjoy “Gymkhana in Saudi Arabia” Part 8 in Video Series “Distant Arabia”.

1 Comment for ““Out in the Blue” Part 9 of Video Series “Distant Arabia””

  1. Mary Beardwood says:

    What a fascinating time in Arabia, and how brave and resourceful of the original oil men there. I would love to do a childrens book about the discovery of oilwhich recounted the tales of these heroes.
    Author of The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Arabia.

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