Shahari 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

* Scripture Prayers for the Shahari, Jibbali in Saudi Arabia.

* 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  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-12-24
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-12-01
People Name General Shahari, Jibbali
People Name in Country Shahari, Jibbali
Natural Name Shahari
Pronunciation sha-HAR-ee
Population this Country 42,000
Population all Countries 89,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 0  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Ehkili; Geblet; Qarawi; Sehri; Shahari; Sheret
People ID 14884
ROP3 Code 108895
Country Saudi Arabia
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 14  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Scattered   Source:  Ethnologue 2020
Country Saudi Arabia
Region Africa, North and Middle East
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 14  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Scattered.   Source:  Ethnologue 2020
Map of Shahari, Jibbali in Saudi Arabia
Primary Language Shehri (42,000 speakers)
Language Code shv   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Shehri (42,000 speakers)
Language Code shv   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Shehri

Primary Language:  Shehri

Bible Translation Status:  Unspecified

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
Photo Source (Representative photo)
LeafWriter - Pixabay  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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