A portrait of the Bedouins of Raqqa

The Bedouins of Northern Syria resemble the nomadic Koçer Kurds.

The Bedouins, who resemble the Kurdish from Koçer, take their place among the peoples of Northern Syria with their own lifestyles. 

Unlike the Koçer Kurds who are wandering between the mountains and the plain, the Bedouins are live stocking in the deserts. 
Nazım Daştan offers an interesting in-depth portrait of the Bedouins in a piece in MA agency. 

The Northern Syrian Federation, which has suffered a great deal from the war in Syria, is home to many beliefs and peoples, living together: Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Assyrians, Armenians, Assyrians, Circassians, Alevis and Bedouin Arabs can be found co-existing in peace. 

Representing an important part of the population in Northern Syria, the Bedouins have been living in the rural areas of many cities, especially Hesekê, Der-Ezzor, Raqqa and Manbij.

The life of the Bedouins in the desert part of the region is similar to the life of the nomadic Koçer Kurds. 

Koçers wander between the mountain and plains, while the Bedouins are usually moving towards the deserts. 

The nomadic Bedouins, who settle in one place in the summer and winter seasons, live a challenging life. Some rear sheep, others goats, others camels. Despite the unbearable desert temperatures and inadequate water resources, the Bedouins have lived as nomads for years. In Northern Syria two main tribes are known, the  Shemmar and the Bedolar. 

The Bedouins, who have moved constantly, try to provide water and food for both themselves and their animals. Where water sources and wells are not available, they carry water to the reservoir.


The Bedouins, living a natural life, still live in tents. The tents, which are 10 meters long and 4 meters wide, are partly furnished, and feature carpets and kills as well as handmade ornaments. 

The tent, which is set up at the designated place, will remain there sometimes just for a few days, sometimes weeks, sometimes months, before being lifted again and moved elsewhere. 
Due to the very difficult conditions, some families are putting up their tents close to residential areas.

A Bedouin woman

The Shemmar family, one of the Bedouin tribes, lives in a place between the northern and eastern deserts of Raqqa. 

In the tent of the family visited by Nazım Daştan, a mother named Ruhem Shemmar, aged 45 welcomes the guests. 

With a deqler (tattoo) on her face, Ruhem Shemmar has 21 kids, 8 of them girls.
Shemmar, who was married at the age of 17, says that early marriage is common among the Bedouins, and that the number of children a woman gives birth to is also high. 
Shemmar tells Nazım Daştan that they have 200 sheep and for this they have changed places many times this year. “We are a people used to live and move place according to the needs of the animals.  

Millenary history

Stressing that the Bedouins have a thousand years of life and culture, Shemmar adds that the history of her people is neither written nor spoken. Shemmar says that the Bedouins live in many countries in the Middle East.

Women-men relation 

Shemmar tells Nazım Daştan that the position of the woman and mother in the Bedouin society is different. “For example, if something needs to be done, I do it together with my husband. In some cases it is the only one who has the final word but after him comes the mother. If there is no father, or if the mother is alone in the house, then she has the final word. This is the way it is in almost all tribes and families in the Bedouin society”.