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

A sheikhdom or sheikdom (Arabic: مشيخة‎ [Mashyakhah]) is a geographical area or a society ruled by a tribal leader called 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, but kingdom, emirate, or simply state, and their ruler usually has another royal title such as king or emir.

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