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Lawrence of Arabia
The Players T.E. Lawrence Prince Feisal General Allenby King Hussein Dahoum Winston Churchill Lowell Thomas Auda Abu Tayeh Arab Revolt Battle Features The Show Resources Classroom Resources Home  
Auda Abu Tayeh
  Many considered Auda the real hero of the Arab revolt. Lawrence described him as the "greatest fighting man in northern Arabia".

Auda could trace his roots back through many generations of great desert Howeitat warriors of the Arabian peninsula. He epitomized everything noble, powerful and proud about the Bedouin.

Lawrence wrote 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".

As was customary in the desert Auda was known for his sweeping hospitality and generosity that "kept him always poor, despite the profits of a hundred raids".

He married 28 times and was wounded more than a dozen times in action. Legend had it that he had killed 75 Arabs by his own hand; he didn't even bother to keep count of the Turks.

In battle Auda became a wild beast assuaged only after he had killed. He was hot-headed but always kept a smile on his face. Despite his fierce reputation he was described as modest, direct, honest, kind-hearted and warmly-loved.

Auda lived in the desert near the Hejaz Railway. He preferred the isolation - and isolation became necessary when he killed one too many debt collectors from Constantinople and the Turks put a price on his head. These desert landscapes were the exact areas Feisal and Lawrence needed to operate in to avoid close attention from the Turks.

"Only by means of Auda abu Tayi" wrote Lawrence, "could we swing the tribes from Maan to Aqaba so violently in our favour that they would help us take Aqaba and its hills from their Turkish garrisons".

Auda's tribesmen were reputedly the finest fighters in the desert which is why his support and assistance was vital to the Arab Revolt. With the incentives of kicking the Turks out of Arabia - and the lure of gold and booty - Auda joined the Revolt.

He was repeatedly approached by the Turks with further financial inducements if he would switch to their side, but he refused to go back on his word. He was an Arab patriot and he rode with Lawrence, proving instrumental in the capture of Aqaba.

The great warrior was by Lawrence's side when they entered Damascus. The crowds, yelling, dancing and firing volleys into the air, cheered Auda and Lawrence, covering them in flowers and kisses.

After the war, Auda returned to his home town of el-Jefer to build himself a great kasr (palace) of mud-brick using Turkish prisoner-labor.

His golden years were short, years of hard riding and fighting finally caught up with Auda, who passed away in 1924.


T.E.Lawrence | Prince Feisal | General Allenby | King Hussein | Dahoum | Winston Churchill | Lowell Thomas | Auda Abu Tayeh

Auda the Arab hero of the Revolt
  Auda the Arab hero of the Revolt  


Lawrence of Arabia