Sheikhdom

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Sheikh Sattam de Haddadin of Palmyra, by Alexandr Evgenievich Yacovleff.

A sheikhdom (alt. sheikdom) (Arabic: مشيخة‎ [Mashyakhah]) is a geographical area or a society, that is ruled by a sheikh (Arabic: شيخ‎).[1] Sheikhdoms exist almost exclusively within Arab countries, particularly in the Arabian Peninsula.

The word is generally used as a descriptive term for political systems rather than as a noun (such as the case is with "Kingdom"), and although some countries are ruled by a sheikh, they are not typically referred to as sheikdoms.

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  1. ^ http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/sheikhdom