1. Danbershan
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    Danbershan New Member

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    Bedouin in Australia

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Danbershan, Jul 12, 2012.

    I'm slowly putting together a science fiction setting, with stories ranging from a couple of decades into the future to centuries away. One thing I'm wondering about is whether it would be feasible for, at some point in the next few years (between 2012 and 2030), Bedouin tribes to establish themselves in the deserts and grasslands of Australia.

    Setting: Leaving aside what's going on in the rest of the world, Australia has gone through some big changes. Geoengineering programs, such as cloud seeding and large-scale landscaping, have succeeded in greening huge swathes of the desert, with the southern quarter of Western Australia, the southern three-tenths of the Northern Territory, all of Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales and the majority of Queensland having become arable to some degree. Another huge impetus for change was continuing and rising immigration from Asia, notably India, Southeast Asia and China. A new Eurasian Australian race has emerged, especially in the newly-fertile areas of inner Australia, and in the southeastern cities, many of them still retaining strong elements of the classic Australian accent. Along the northern coast, including within the megacity of Darwin, the populace is more Indonesian.

    Premise: As well as the more widespread immigration from East and South Asia, immigrants move to Australia from the Arab World. Among these are Bedouin, some of them with recent memories of living nomadically in the deserts of the Empty Quarter and the Maghreb. Some of those living near or in the deserts and grasslands of Western and Northern Australia revert back to their old lifestyles, tempted back by the shifting sands and roaming camel herds. Once a few have done so, a movement begins, and more of their kind follow, until a few thousand Bedouin are roaming the deserts of Australia. Illegal introduction of Arabian wildlife, such as the Arabian Oryx, recently re-classified by the IUCN as 'Least Concern', serves to increase the connection between these Bedouin and their brethren in Arabia and Africa.

    Thoughts on how feasible this is? I know the whole geoengineering stuff is also a bit far-fetched, but that's just background, I can open another thread to discuss that. As well as all the things happening everywhere else in the world in the setting. What I'm really asking for here is your thoughts on the feasibility of the establishment of the Bedouin in Australia. If you don't think my explanation works, maybe you could suggest an alternative for me to think about? Cheers in advance :)
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's fiction... and science fiction, to boot... so you can make anything happen... and if you're a good enough writer, you can make anything that you make happen be believable to your readers...
     
  3. nzric
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    nzric Active Member

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    Bedouin version of Amish?

    Needs a good reason why they'd move so far to choose that lifestyle rather than pickup trucks, beer and internet. That's what most new immigrants to Australia do (including the ethnic European ones), and that kind of thing is a nearly irresistible negative influence on Australia's original nomads (Aborigines).

    Australia already has a huge middle eastern population too. Google "Cronulla riots".
     
  4. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    so they are going to go leave the arabian deserts to act like they live in the arabian deserts?
     
  5. bsbvermont
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    bsbvermont Active Member

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    I love the way you have considered the whole geoengineering thing and the rebirth of the Australian outback as being habitable. Personally I would go into the science journals and see what kinds of work have been done in these areas and then expand from there. If you have a connection with a college or university you could use their data bases (and more and more high schools have access as well so don't overlook your local high school) and many colleges will offer free subscriptions to JSTOR if you are a graduate.

    It is fiction as mammamaia pointed out. That said, I agree with the other posts that there should be some clear reason for the bedouin to travel that far...Because my mind would go to, if there was geoengineering to improve conditions in Australasia, why wouldn't it exist everywhere in the world...and hence why wouldn't Africa and the middle east also become infinitely more habitable as well? (IE..Could there have been nuclear war there and now there are highly contaminated soils....or the warlords had finally succeeded in ejecting the Bedouin, etc)

    Otherwise it sounds interesting. I think Australia is the next great frontier for film as well.
     
  6. Morkonan
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    Morkonan Senior Member

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    Who cares? The fact that you have come up with such an interesting possibility is enough to sell me on the idea! Excellent! /applause

    You're writing fiction, but how realistic do you want it to be? How far in the future? How many political considerations do you want to cover? What about Cultural considerations? Whatever the reason, I think you can easily accomplish this with a minimum of fuss and a good bit of believability.

    A few things of note: If it is in the Near Future, you may have a problem convincing some Australians. At least, from what I have read concerning their own hesitations over immigration issues. Australia is receiving a lot of immigrants and not all Australians are happy about that. (I'm not Australian, it's just something I have picked up from a few articles concerning Australian politics and social movements.) So, that may need to be considered if your story takes place in the Near Future.

    But, it's your world and you can build it the way you wish. Just be sure it is internally consistent and the setting complies with logical choices surrounding human societies.
     
  7. Danbershan
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    Danbershan New Member

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    Thanks for all the great feedback, some very interesting thoughts here. The problem remains in finding a plot now, always a Herculean task for me :/ Cheers!
     
  8. AlexCogen
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    AlexCogen New Member

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    Go for it


    I definitely think you are on to something. Don't be bothered by details. There's always reasons why the bedouines would want to leave the Arab desert: political instability, deteriation of habitat, scramble for land where they're at the loosing end. It would be an interesting twist for Australia to be de guardian of this old and rich culture. How to keep them from modernity though? Maybe government can pay them to control the camilpopulation and be a kind of controling and reporting agency.

    What I finf most interesting is the question what to do whit that huge empty desert in Australia right now. It shure has potential to accomodate many different desert creetures under huge threat right now. To name but a few: Arabian Oryx, the scimitar Oryx, the indian wild desert donkey, the Asiatic Lion, the asiatic Cheeta, the Mojave Desert Tortoise, Californian Condor, and many more.

    The indiginous animal populations are going down in the large stretches of land in the Australian deserts through to hunting of feral cats, rats, foxes, and other animals. Better preserve them in controllable closed of areas like peninsulas and island. On the bright site, the australian desert could come to live and be an Arc of Noah for so many distressed animals elswhere. The Bedouines fit perfectly in this storyline.

    I wish you much succes,
    Alexander,
    Belgium
     

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