Friday, 22 April 2016

Sepia Saturday 327 23/04/2016 Aladdin;

One Thousand and One Nights; alf layla wa-layla  a collection of Middle Eastern stories and folk tales. The stories were compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. In English the book is known as the Arabian Nights from the first English language edition from 1706. Translations miss out especially when translated from a language as poetic as Arabic.

The work was collected over many centuries by various authors, translators, and scholars across West, Central, and South Asia and North Africa. The tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Persian, Mesopotamian, Indian, and Egyptian folklore and literature. In particular, many tales were originally folk stories from the Caliphate era, while others, especially the frame story, are most probably drawn from the Pahlavi Persian work Hazar Afsan, A Thousand Tales) which in turn relied partly on Indian elements. As it is always with stories they are like chinese whispers, added to,  taken away, embellished, also the overall story stays in place.
Some editions contain only a few hundred nights, while others include 1,001 or more. Prose is mainly used in the texts. Some verse is used for songs and riddles or to express great emotion. 

A Street in Allepo: old houses with harems

Egypt Old Postcard Cairo, Caffe Native Coffihous, Arabian Arab Cafe Coffee House

An Ottoman coffeehouse in Tophane, Mıgırdiç Civanyan, late 19th century.

Where story telling must have flourished.

None of the other tales have been as widely commercialized as Aladdin.

Batik Harem Pants from Indonesia

Aladdin's Lamps at a market in Morocco

Silver necklace with the magic lamp.

Please visit

Sepia Saturday 327 : 23 April 2016

Pictures courtesy Google/ Text Ts