Layla (town)

Layla (town)

Layla is a town in central Saudi Arabia, located at coord|22|17|N|46|44|E|. It is the principle town of the Al-Aflaj oasis in Ar Riyad Province, some 330 km south of the capital, Riyadh. It is believed to have been named after Layla of Bani 'Amir, a 7th century woman from the local tribe of Bani 'Amir who was immortalized in the poetry of her lover Qays ibn Al-Mulawwah. The romance of Qays and Layla is perhaps the most famous romance of Arabic literature, and was chronicled by Persian poet Nezami in "Layla wal Majnun" ("Layla and the Madman"). Several tribes have governed the town across two millennia, including tribes of Kaab ibn 'Amir, then 'Uqayl ibn 'Amir. The population of the town and its surrounding villages and hamlets is nearly 76,000, largely consisting of recently-settled bedouins from the Dawasir tribe. Layla neighbours a lake of the same name.

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