[A]n individual fleeing from enemies or from punishment could place himself in the protection of a prominent person by entering his tent or grasping the tent-pole at the entrance and exclaiming, “I am in God’s ’ar and your ’ar ,” or, “I am seeking refuge with your children.” The owner of the tent is then obliged to assist him, at least by acting as an intermediary between him and his pursuer, or by speaking to the caid or governor on his behalf. The pursuer, in such a case, cannot try forcibly to remove the fugitive, but must apply to the owner. A similar custom prevails among the sedentary populations residing in houses. A fugitive could also place himself in the ’ar of a woman by touching her, sucking her breast, sitting down in front of her, or running into her house and taking hold of the handmill; her husband and family then being obliged to help him.

  • Source: Hoffman, Bernard G. The structure of traditional Moroccan rural society. The Hague: Mouton & Co., 1967.
  • Culture: Shluh
  • Location: Africa