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

The majority of the film clips posted 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.

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.

More Stories – Tim Barger
ISBN: 978-0988205017
246 pages, $14.95

part 8 part 10