Another suggestion you make that intrigues me is the "panhandle reaching up north from the oil fields" on the map. Do you mean by "panhandle" the gap or narrow strip in the middle of the oil fields continuing north off the top of the map? Do you pressume this reaches Khemikal in the north?
Yep, that's right, and if so that's the way Tintin is taken by Bab El Ehr, from Khemikal down to the desert via Hasch Abaibabi (hush-a-bye-baby!) and finally to Wadesdah. I think it makes perfect sense!
Back to the Emir's family, i often wondered which route Prince Abdullah and his retinue travelled from Khemed to adventually arrive in Marlinspike (Marlinshire, England) or Moulinsart (Belgium)? I always assumed they were smuggled out north by land (perhaps to Beirut or Jordan?) or south east to Saudi Arabia!?
To the north I would say. Probably via the "panhandle" (which is an expression used in describing similar geography in parts of some American states, like Texas) and Khemikal. Judging from all the things both Abdallah brought to Europe - Belgium if you ask me :-) - and the Emir to the hideout, they seem to have a lot of time to leave the country. And according to Red sea Sharks
(like the glimpse of the newspaper on page 14), Bab El Ehr actually doesn't control all of Khemed, initially concentrating on Wadesdah.
I wonder if the Emir's harem (Alph-Art) were with the Emir in the Jebel Kadheh hideout, or perhaps in temporary safe exile in Jordan or Saudi Arabia under Royal protection.
I don't think Hergé left any clues on this issue.
The Emir's hideout and remaining in Khemed with the protection of Sheikh Patrash Pasha and his tribesmen could really have been inspired by King Muhammad Al-Badr of Yemen in 1962-67 and the North Yemeni Royalist/Republican civil war, where King Muhammad Al-Badr was held-up in the northern mountain regions with loyal Royalist tribesmen! I like the comparison and idea that this could be Herge's inspiration for the Emir's situation and circumstances in Jebel Kadheh.
Since The Red Sea Sharks
was serialized in the Tintin magazine from late 1956 to early 1958, the inspiration - if any - must have been the other way 'round :-)
where in the book/books is the town or place of "Tel Al Oued" actually mentioned.
It's mentioned in "Land of Black Gold", but is a town which the Thomsons are approaching before they realise that it is in fact a mirage.
that explains why i couldn't find "Tel Al Oued" in Red Sea Sharks.So we can assume this town is probably a smaller desert town near the pipeline or between the oil fields and Wadesdah.
I would rather say between Khemikal and the oil fields, since the Thompsons also started their trip in Khemikal (and finally crashed into the mosque in Hasch Abaibabi