There are Turkish primary and secondary schools in some of the towns; in the village mosques instruction in the Koran is given by the imams, but neither reading nor writing is taught.
The name of mandi is also given by the Shiite Mahommedans to the last of the imams of the house of `Ali.
The larger mosques have two imams: one is called (in Arabia and Egypt) the khatib, and he preaches the sermon on Fridays (the Moslem Sabbath); the other, the ratib, reads the Koran, and recites the five daily prayers, standing close to the mihrab, and leading the congregation, who repeat the prayers with him, and closely follow his postures.
The imams do not form a priestly sect; they generally have other occupations, such as teaching in a school or keeping a shop, and may at any time be dismissed by the warden, in which case they lose the title of imam.
above the valley, the fortress and palace of the imams, now replaced by the Turkish military hospital, the suburb of Bir el Azab with its scattered houses and gardens, the Jews' quarter and the village of Rauda, a few miles to the north in a fertile, irrigated plain which Niebuhr compares to that of Damascus.