auda ibu tayi

I am Auda ibu Tayi. The real Auda ibu Tayi. 

I really liked the Auda played by Anthony Quinn in the film Lawrence of Arabia, perhaps maybe my favourite character in the film. The real Auda is more admirable, however, than the one portrayed in the film. He had an active role in the Arab revolt before Lawrence arrived on the scene. He didn’t need to be convinced by Lawrence, he and the Howeitat were already fighting the Turks.

Lawrence said of Auda: “He saw life as a saga, all the events in it were significant: all personages in contact with him heroic, his mind was stored with poems of old raids and epic tales of fights.”


Only by means of Auda abu Tayi could we swing the tribes from Ma'an to Aqaba so violently in our favour that they would help us take Aqaba and its hills from their Turkish garrisons.”

One of my favourite parts of the great film:

After the anti-climactic capture of Damascus, Ali decides to remain and “learn politics” - an occupation that is characterized as “very low” by Lawrence. According to Auda, being a “politician” is foreign to the Harith’s cultural upbringing:

Ali: I had no thought of it when I met you. You tried very hard to give us Damascus.

Lawrence: It’s what I came for. And then - it would be something.

Ali: Yes. Much. (Ali leaves the room and enters into the shadows, where he is confronted by Auda)

Auda: He is your friend.

Ali: Get your hand away from me.

Auda: You love him.

Ali: No, I fear him.

Auda: Why do you weep?

Ali: If I fear him and love him, how must he fear himself who hates himself? (Ali draws his dagger.) Take your hand away, Howeitat!

Auda: Oh, so you are not yet entirely politician.

Ali: Not yet.

Auda: Well, these are new tricks and I am an old dog. An Arab, be thanked. I’ll tell thee what though. Being an Arab will be thornier than you suppose, Harith!