Caravan trade between Kuwait and "markets of Arabian Peninsula, Levant and Southern Iraq" in the pre-oil era (A study in modes and relations of production)
Sakr, D. Mustafa Ahmed
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Although pastoralism was the common occupation of all nomads, this does not mean that raising animals was their only economic activity. During the modern history of the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Bedouin tribes had also intermittently engaged in considerable trade (mainly the caravan trade) with urban markets. The flexibility so characteristic of pastoral nomadism and the ability to transport goods and people have meant that pastoralism has long been associated with the caravan trade as one of the major livelihood strategies. Prior to the evolution of modern transport, animals were the only method of moving large quantities of goods across land. Consequently, pastoralists often became heavily involved in trade caravans, guiding, managing and supplying the appropriate livestock. In Arabia, this evolved into a quite sophisticated form of blackmail, whereby the nomads both guided the caravans and required payments to protect them.