20 SEC READ: Bedouins (ENG, PORT, ESP )

The code of the desert

Two men were crossing the desert when they saw a Bedouin’s tent and asked him for shelter. Even though he did not know them, he welcomed them in the way that the conduct of nomads dictates: a camel was killed and its meat served in a sumptuous dinner.
The next day, the two strangers woke early and decided to continue on their journey. As the Bedouin was not at home, they gave his wife a hundred dinars, apologizing for not being able to wait, because if they spent any more time there, the sun would become too strong for them to travel.

They had traveled for four hours when they heard a voice calling out to them. They looked back and saw the Bedouin following them. As soon as he caught up with them, he threw the money to the ground.
“I gave you such a warm welcome! Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?”
In surprise, the strangers said that the camel were surely worth far more than that, but that they did not have much money.

“I am not talking about the amount,” was the answer. “The desert welcomes Bedouins wherever they go, and never asks anything in return. If we had to pay, how could we live? Welcoming you to my tent is like paying back a fraction of what life has given us.

O código da hospedagem

Dois homens atravessavam o deserto, quando viram a tenda de um beduí­no, e se aproximaram para pedir abrigo. Mesmo sem conhecíª-los, foram recebidos como manda o código de conduta dos ní´mades: um camelo foi abatido, e sua carne servida em um lauto jantar.
No dia seguinte os dois estrangeiros acordaram cedo e resolveram continuar a viagem. Como o beduí­no ní£o estava em casa, deixaram cem dinares com sua esposa, ao mesmo tempo pedindo desculpas por ní£o poderem esperar, já que se demorassem muito ali, o sol ia terminar ficando muito forte.

Já haviam andado por quatro horas, quando escutaram uma voz que os chamava. Olharam para trás: o beduí­no os perseguia, e assim que os alcaní§ou, jogou o dinheiro no chí£o.
– Eu os recebi tí£o bem! Vocíªs ní£o tíªm vergonha?
Os estrangeiros, surpresos, disseram que com certeza o camelo valia muito mais que aquilo, mas ní£o tinham muito dinheiro.

– Ní£o estou falando da quantia – foi a resposta. – O deserto acolhe os beduí­nos aonde eles ví£o, e jamais nos pede nada em troca. Se tivéssemos que pagar, como poderí­amos viver? Receber vocíªs em minha tenda é retornar uma fraí§í£o daquilo que a vida nos tem dado.

El código del hospedaje

Dos hombres estaban cruzando el desierto, cuando avistaron la tienda de un beduino, y se aproximaron para pedir abrigo. Aunque eran unos desconocidos, fueron recibidos según manda el código de conducta de los nómadas: se sacrificó un camello, y se sirvió su carne en una espléndida cena.
Al dí­a siguiente, los dos extranjeros despertaron temprano y decidieron continuar su viaje. Como el beduino no estaba en casa, le dieron cien dinares a su mujer, sin dejar de pedir disculpas por no poder esperar, puesto que si se entretuviesen mucho allí­, el sol terminarí­a quemando demasiado.

Ya llevaban caminando unas cuatro horas, cuando escucharon una voz que los llamaba a sus espaldas. Se dieron la vuelta, y vieron que el era el beduino que los vení­a siguiendo, y en cuanto los alcanzó, arrojó el dinero en el suelo frente a ellos.
-¡Con lo bien que yo os recibí­! ¿Es que no tenéis vergüenza?
Los extranjeros, sorprendidos, dijeron que sin duda el camello debí­an valer mucho más que eso, pero que no tení­an mucho dinero.

-No me refiero a la cantidad- respondió-. El desierto acoge a los beduinos allá donde vayan, y nunca nos pide nada a cambio. Si tuviéramos que pagar por ello, ¿cómo podrí­amos vivir? Recibiros en mi tienda es devolver apenas una pequeña parte de lo que la vida nos ha regalado.


  1. Olimp Boros says:

    LOVELY Story Maestro COELHO!
    I know personal the Bedouins, since january 2003 when I’ve started to work as a Tour Guide on Sinai Peninsula – EGYPT.
    And I have to admit that the Bedouins are really Friendly people, and they are inviting for “habak”-tea or “karkade” (Hibiscus tea) every visitor, guest, or tourist who’s passing through the desert, by their Home.
    Muito Obrigado pela historia! Tudo de BOM pra Voce!!!
    Saudacoes do EGITO “Antigo” :)

    Olimp Boros / OLi / International Tour Guide & Manager
    Sharm El Sheikh, EGITO.

  2. es bueno ayudar a la gente sin esperar algo a cambio puesto que la vida te recompensa con sorpresas inesperadas. GRACIAS POR TU SABIDURIA.

  3. jc says:

    tus palabras son para nosotros lo que tu nos devuelves por tantas bendiciones que nosotros te hemos dado…en el camino nos vemos mi concejero…

  4. sunny suman says:

    I simply think whether it was the right manner to act? can’t we show our feelings of gratitude by giving something…….

  5. sergio says:

    In Philippine barrios, we used to reserve dining utensils and the best linens only for guests, and serving them foods served only during special occasions, and handing them something they can bring back home.

    1. Joey says:

      true enough! I’m Filipina and we really do it! :)

  6. Joe says:

    I love it when Colonel Gaddafi sets up his Bedouins tent at the UN in New York. He is truly the King of Kings.

  7. Jojo says:

    “The desert welcomes Bedouins wherever they go”
    As we are welcomed (or should be welcomed) wherever we go. Earth is a land that shares, without limits. Humans put limits, divide.

    “And never asks anything in return”
    This concept of having to give in return is not a principle of the Higher Power of Love but of the ones in power. Its only desire: to love as we are loved. You cannot serve two Masters, either God or Money.

    “If we had to pay, how could we live”
    The Eden, no paying, just living, sharing, exchanging. The Hell is here and now where most struggle to get enough money to eat, where without high connections, you get treated to late for sickness, etc …

    And I would change the “paying back of this last sentence” … “Welcoming you is SHARING what life has given me.” Gratitude, consciousness of being loved just for me, and wanted to love the other has I am loved.

    Once again, thank you Paolo for blowing the clouds of darkness
    Love, Jojo.

  8. mohamed says:

    i like this story because i’m beduin from north of sinai

    1. kulsum says:

      salam, Mohamed……i hv heard a lot many stories about Beduin from my granmother who met them during Haj pilgrimage before some fifty years .i would like to know more about the culture and life stle they follow.ofcourse i can search on net ,but i ll really appreciate if u like to share it with me .

  9. Daniel says:

    Thanks for today; thanks for the story.

    With love, Daniel

  10. solange campos says:

    o dinheiro só compra o que é vaidade. grande ensinamento. obrigada.

  11. sofya says:

    thx for the lovely story I am a Bedouin in the middle east and I believe every thing in this story about the Bedouin values is true so again thank you very much.

    1. sunny suman says:

      i sud beter ask my question to you……..can’t we show our feeling of gratitude by offering something…is it wrong? Just a sort of doubt in my mind….

    2. nasreen says:

      Each idea in your books penetrates through my soul……

  12. Paul Bernard Cubria says:

    Welcome back dear Paulo. Thank you for the story. I feel that gratitud is very very important, as well as to try to understand the other and not always assume everybody is like me… Not judge the world according to my own personal vision… Gracias.

  13. Daniela Kunz says:

    Being true to the values and what is right to do. It is too many times that people do something for others expecting a favor in return. I myself shall remember of this and do better in certain things too. Thank you for reminding me and for helping me to think of it as to change this in myself. <3

  14. Mariazinha says:

    Bom dia!
    Muito bom.

    Deus te ilumine Guerreiro!

  15. diana marrero says:

    problema de traduccion y desconocer el codigo de hospedaje pero siempre la hospitalidad no tiene precio se a de donde este gracias por sus notas

  16. Julie Ann Kristie A. Redillas says:

    genuine hospitality really matters and it cannot be measured with wealth

  17. Rahul says:

    It is an amazing true. A lot of times, we tend to weigh everything that happens around us, with money.

    Wish we could back to the “Barter Age’…

  18. Maheswara Mahendra says:

    Sincerely, full of Inspiring to the way we life now.
    Thanks to simple story but lots of meanings.

  19. roanne says:

    I love the story…It’s a reflection for all of us! May we have also the attitude of Beduoin.God Bless…

  20. stephany says:

    Graxias paulo

  21. Ali says:

    A Turkish proverb:
    EN: A guest comes with ten blessings, eats one and leaves nine.
    TR: Misafir on kısmetle gelir; birini yer, dokuzunu bırakır.

  22. CARMEN says:

    Hermoso ,buenos valores hacen hijos mejores!
    Corriendo les mostre la historia a mis adolecentes I love it!!

  23. O princí­pio da caridade. Oferece de graí§a o que de graí§a recebeste.

  24. Harveen says:

    “Atithi devo bhava”
    A guest is equivalent to God. That’s what they say in India. Thanks Mr Coelho, for keeping mortals in touch with the basic spirituality of living. One does not need to be a strict follower of any religion but just needs to treat a fellow human with respect and love, to reach God and be a better human being.

  25. caterina says:

    En tiempos donde todo es dinero,,a veces es mas facil pagar con monedas que pagar con el agradecimiento..CL

  26. Dreamcatcher says:

    Guest home, God home we say in Polish

  27. Lesbia Acero says:

    Fantastico! Maravilloso!!!!!!! una gran leccion para la vida……………….

  28. Tenemos que aprender de los Beduinos el código de honor del desierto.
    Preciosa enseñanza Paulo gracias por compartir.

  29. elaine says:

    I shed a tear at the end of this story as I think about what is and has been going on in Gaza, and “honestly” how easily it could be solved if man and his nations would just let the fear go.

    I was so pleased today to turn on the local news and see protesters lining along a street in Salt Lake City. They were holding signs and encouraging people to honk their car horns if they were in favor of the peace / aide boats going to Gaza…many horns were being honked. ;-D People around the world might think that people in the USA are totally for the one side, but truth be know — especially in this girl’s heart — there are always three sides to every issue – one side, the other side, and the truth. We care in the USA too. We want world peace too and obviously, excessive force and control is not the answer.

    This lovely songwriter/singer is definitely one of my favorites ;-)


    Love and peace to you,

  30. JiM says:

    I so love this…

  31. Brilliant! Those that were closest to the Earth have always known the true ways of being one with all…we can all learn from that!
    Modern Western Man has moved away from his roots and forgotten. We need to get back to basics again!
    Thanks Paulo, this is priceless!

  32. Paula says:

    Suas palavras sempre tornam meus dias melhores

  33. Proud to be a bedouin !
    thank you so much for the lovely post . .

  34. Liina says:

    And that Bedouin was fair enough not to accept false harmony and do something about the feeling inside what breaking the code is about.

    There are unsaid things that we sometimes have to try to be sensitive enough (about others) to understand what this is about. And respect each other…

    Bedouin was not wanting money… he wanted the company. :) Not compensation… but love.

    And much more.


  35. Zuli says:

    Paulo amo tus filosofí­as, muchas gracias =D

  36. Ben Kressel says:

    Seems to me if the Bedouin had really given without expectation, he would not have followed them to teach them a lesson.

  37. Dagmar Lamaletie says:

    Nope, dont get it, but then I am just being honest. In my mind its as if I bring flowers or chocolates to the hostes who invited me for a dinner and thats being flung back at me?

  38. Even today, this wonderful Middle Eastern thinking still exists. I have experienced this in Egypt and am grateful for the opportunity to learn much from this generous culture. Thank you for sharing.

  39. Iva says:

    Thank You!everytime You give me a strenght when I read what you wrote.I wish you a lot of love and happiness. Not reading your books, I would be different person I think. My aunt always says that books can give you experience you never be able to experience by yourself

    1. Pierce says:

      Yes the life is completely different after reading his books!And the concept of omens is deep n mysterious.What you feel about them?

  40. Deepika says:

    Thanks Paul. It was quite insightful as all your other articles and books are. I just loved it.

    1. MARIA says:



      MARíA R