Mobile Pastoralists / Edition 1

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Based on more than ten years of study among the Harasiis, a Middle Eastern tribe living in the Sultanate of Oman, Mobile Pastoralists is a powerful statement on the importance of grassroots, people-based development and on the inadequacy of conventional responses for such a community by the international aid bureaucracy.

Dawn Chatty's work is the product of years of research among the Harasiis, during which she headed an international development project aiming to provide basic social services to the tribe without disturbing their traditional nomadic pastoral way of life. Mobile Pastoralists provides readers with a detailed description of the conception, drafting, implementation, and completion of Chatty's aid project. The book also includes nuanced case studies of individual Harasiis men and women, showing how development efforts and the complex forces of modernization have affected members on a personal level.

Supplemented by a group of photographs of the tribe and their environment, along with seven detailed regional maps, Mobile Pastoralists is a study with valuable applications for anthropology, cultural geography, development planning, and Middle Eastern affairs.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews


This stimulating study of a pastoral people coping with change can be read with pleasure by anyone interested in development politics as well as the Middle East in general.


This stimulating study of a pastoral people coping with change can be read with pleasure by anyone interested in development politics as well as the Middle East in general.

This stimulating study of a pastoral people coping with change can be read with pleasure by anyone interested in development politics as well as the Middle East in general.
Middle East Journal
This well-written account will be of interest to students of nomadic societies and to all who study the Sultanate of Oman.
Roy Behnke
Analyzes the life history of a development project from conception and design through to implementation and completion. It then assesses the impact of the project on the Omani nomads it was intended to benefit. Dawn Chatty spent ten years researching this subject, and her effort shows. She has produced an ethnography of both a development project and of a pastoral people caught up in rapid social and economic change and a lasting contribution to pastoral, developmental, and Middle Eastern studies.
A collection of real, contemporary stories of women academics in university business faculties at different stages in their career development. Each contributor presents a first-person account of her experiences related to career decisions and choices. The accounts reflect the challenges, rewards, inconsistencies, support systems, and the highs and lows of the chosen path. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231105491
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 8/5/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 0.53 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dawn Chatty is senior research officer in the Refugee Studies Program, Queen Elizabeth House, at the University of Oxford. She has also taught at universities in the United States, Lebanon, Syria, and Oman, and has worked with the United Nations Development Program, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Development, and UNICEF in Oman.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

List of Maps
Note on Names and Transliteration of Arabic Words
List of Abbreviations
1 Introduction: The Stirrings of a Development Plan 1
2 Developing a Plan: United Nations Project OMA/80/WO1 29
3 Implementing a Plan: Transforming a Water Well Into a Tribal Center 54
4 Employment on the Side: The Changing Nature of Pastoralism in the Jiddat-il-Harasiis 79
5 The Modern Harasiis Household: The Traditional and the Innovative 103
6 Entrepreneurship and Marginality: Harasiis Brokers and the Outside World 126
7 Harbingers of Change: Women and the Quest for Education 143
8 Looking to the Future: Pastoralists in Oman and the Middle East 164
Notes 195
Glossary 205
References 207
Index 217
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