The society in which the Bedu live is tribal. Everyone belongs to a tribe and all members of the same tribe are in some degree kinsmen, since they are descended from a common ancestor. The closer the relationship the stronger is the loyalty which a man feels for his fellow tribesmen, and this loyalty overrides personal feelings, except in extreme cases. In time of need a man instinctively supports his fellow tribesmen, just as they in like case support him. There is no security in the desert for an individual outside the framework of his tribe. This makes it possible for tribal law, which is based on consent, to work among the most individualistic race in the world, since in the last resort a man who refuses to accept a tribal decision can be ostracized. It is therefore a strange fact that tribal law can only work in conditions of anarchy and breaks down as soon as peace is imposed upon the desert, since under peaceful conditions a man who resents a judgment can refuse to be bound by it, and if necessary can leave his tribe and live by himself. There is no central authority inside the tribe which can enforce the judgment.

Wilfred Thesiger, Arabian Sands