Banu Hilal

The Banu Hilal (Arabic: بنو هلال or الهلاليين) was a confederation of Arabian tribes from the Hejaz and Najd regions of the Arabian Peninsula that emigrated to North Africa in the 11th century. Masters of the vast plateaux of the Najd, they enjoyed a somewhat infamous reputation, possibly owing to their relatively late (for the Arabian tribes) conversion to Islam and accounts of their campaigns in the borderlands between Iraq and Syria. They participated in the pillage of Mecca in 930. When the Fatimid Caliphate became masters of Egypt and the founders of Cairo in 969, they hastened to confine the unruly Bedouin in the south before sending them to Central North Africa (Libya, Tunisia and Algeria).

A rare Arabic manuscript of the orally-transmitted epic poem about the Banu Hilal, by Hussein Al-Ulaimi, 1849 CE, origin unknown