Monday, July 21, 2008

A Personal Memory of Glubb Pasha

Desert police on patrol in Wadi Rum - photos by J

The other evening my husband and I were talking about Avi Shlaim’s book, Lion of Jordan, and of the people in it who were familiar to both of us. Glubb Pasha was one of the first we mentioned. This honorable British military man, who was an advisor to the late King Abdullah and King Hussein, was truly an important and integral part of Jordan’s early history. When my husband attended the Bishop’s School in the late 1940s, he was caught up in the national fervor calling for Glubb’s ousting as the last vestige of British rule. As he was reminiscing about this period of his youth he made this most simple, interesting comment to me. “You know, Glubb started the Desert Patrol and was commander of the Arab Legion, but was having a hard time getting men to join the forces. So he devised those remarkable uniforms, and that did it! It was the talk of the town that the Bedouin soldiers were better dressed than villagers and the men from Amman!” I agree – those uniforms make stunning looking men.


The Badia Patrol of Wadi Rum - photos by J


Blogger joladies said...

I just love the story of the Desert Patrol, which was part of the Arab Legion. Glubb pasha certainly managed to recruit the bedu into the jaish in the thirties and the wonderful uniform was certainly an attraction (especially to the ladies!). I remember about 25 years ago when we were doing a spectacular military display, the Desert Patrol took part and their camels were so well disciplined, though I did not like to go too near them!!! The long white sleeves that protruded from the khaki posed a question to me. What were they there for? The Patrol wore them even when driving armoured cars. I got so many different answers but never a definitive one. Any ideas anyone???? T

Tuesday, July 22, 2008  
Blogger MommaBean said...

How wonderful. And isn't it amazing how a simple nicely cut uniform can spell national pride and make a man more handsome...

Thursday, July 24, 2008  

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