Shahari, Jibbali in Saudi Arabia

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Speakers of the Shehri language reside in Dhofar (or Zufar) governate in extreme southwest Oman, on the border with Yemen. It is a somewhat mountainous area, and has Salalah as its regional capital city. Historically, this area was the largest producer of frankincense in the world. In antiquity, Dhofar boasted one of Arabia's oldest and most cosmopolitan cultures. The region was only brought under the control of the sultans of Muscat in the mid-nineteenth century.

Dhofar is the home area of several tribal peoples speaking a variety of South Arabian languages, and the Shehri, or Jibbali, language is one of those. The people are said to be increasingly bilingual in Dhofari Arabic, and the Shehari language is marked as threatened by the Ethnologue.

The Shehri language is spoken by the Qara, Shahra, Barahama, Bait Ash-Shaik, and (some) Batahira, tribes. These tribes are usually nomadic or semi-nomadic. As they travel, Saudi Arabia, which borders Oman, is one of their destinations.

Where Are they Located?

The Jibbali Shahari tribe can be found in Oman, Yemen or Saudi Arabia.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Though romanticized in the West, the life of a nomad in the Arabian Peninsula is very harsh. Water is hard to find, and this is one of the hottest places on the planet.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Shaharis and associated tribes are Sunni Muslim, but retain a few traditional, animistic beliefs. There are no followers of Christ among these tribes as far as we know.

What Are Their Needs?

The Jibbali Shahari people in Saudi Arabia need access to the gospel. They are highly unlikely to have Internet access to download materials, and there are layers of pressure to remain loyal to the Sunni Islamic religious system.

Prayer Points

* Pray for the youth of these tribes to be able to make needed adjustments to the rapidly changing world in Saudi Arabia.
* Please pray for gospel radio broadcasts to become available in Dhofari Arabic.
* Pray the Lord will give a growing desire to know and follow Jesus Christ to this people group.
* Pray that God will do a miracle so believers can reach this highly inaccessible people group.
* Pray for a Disciple-Making movement to flourish in Saudi Arabia.


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

Prayer / Resource Links:
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-12-24
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-12-01
People Name General Shahari, Jibbali
People Name in Country Shahari, Jibbali
Population in Saudi Arabia 39,000
World Population 92,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous No
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Progress Scale 1
GSEC 0  (per
Alternate Names Ehkili, Geblet, Qarawi, Sehri, Shahari, Sheret
People ID 14884
ROP3 Code 108895
Country Saudi Arabia
Region Middle East and North Africa
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 12  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Saudi Arabia
Region Middle East and North Africa
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 12  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)

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Primary Language Shehri (39,000 speakers)
Language Code shv   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Other People Groups Speaking Shehri
Primary Language Shehri (39,000 speakers)
Language Code shv   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Shehri

Primary Language:  Shehri

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions No
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
Resource Type Resource Name
None reported  
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Other Christian
Roman Catholic
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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