Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Scheherazade Must Die !!

Poor Scheherazade , she made it and her life was spared by her tales in the ancient times where as in the modern times some are trying to ban the tales that saved her and the daughters of her nation for 1000 and 1 nights !!
The cover of the 1935 edition
You may have read or heard that there are a group of lawyers trying to ban a specific edition from the world famous One thousand and one nights aka Arabian nights because of its sexual explicit content !!! It is not NSFW book as they realized and thus it has to banned immediately to save the society and its morals from its evil. This was not the first time as it happened before in when 1985 some lawyers wanted to ban that edition from the book. .
First of all you must know that the edition they are speaking about is the oldest edition printed from the book in modern Egypt during the time of Mohamed Ali pasha at the famous Imbaba printing house and it was printed after the approval and the revision of Al Azhar ; yes approved by the Al Azhar in the 19th century with its bad NSFW words and imagery !!! Already the last edition available from the Imbaba printing house is the 1935 edition which is not even in Cairo or at the Bibliotheque Alexandrie but rather in University of Toronto !! "Do not ask me how or why !!"

Second of all I believe that group of lawyers should search for something much more important and vital for the Egyptian people , like for instance the lost rights of workers and farmers or the sick ...etc We got much important issues in the country than a 100 years old edition from a book most people prefer to watch as a series and not to read because they do not read now !! They do not have time to read nor money to buy that big edition nor they can read and understand the difficult Classic Arabic of that edition if they buy it !! It is ironic because those imageries and words those lawyers are angry and fear on the society from may not be easy to understand for the average Mohamed in the Egyptian street who does not have proper education in the first place !!
The Arabian nights book despite its importance and value was always fought as danger on the society's morale even in the west before the east , when the book was translated to French and English it caused a lot of uproar in 18th century due to its sexual content too.
Already I read the full Arabian nights , the original which I will believe is uncensored , it was published in 4 book by the Dar Al Kotob Al-ilmiyah in Beirut and despite this publishing house is specialized for Islamic religious books yet I believe from what I read they did not remove anything from it as far as I could tell. I do not know what edition I have read thought. My own judgment is that this book is amazing with its stories inside stories , a complete different world and yes there is a lot of sex but there are even more racism towards other races too that made me uncomfortable. But other than that well it is fantastic , really fantastic and you would be surprise with the poetry,the proverbs and even the historical incidents mentioned in the book. I can't easily describe or explain this book but if you are a bookworm like me that I recommend you to recommend to read Dr. Sohair El-Kalmawy's doctoral dissertation about the book because no man has analyzed the nights like her. I swear there full pages I want to share it with you especially the rule and authority.
Since my childhood I was prepared for the Nights starting with the simplified clean versions complied for children by Kamel El-Keilany and it was among my biggest wishes to have the complete collection , the original collection regardless of the sexual imageries. The Arabian Nights book is not a sex book for Teenagers despite you have explicit sexual imageries yet they were employed dramatically and the book did not encourage this practices on the contrary you find that the consequences of these actions are always bad. Already I wonder why this book did not cause all this controversy in the past and approved by Al Azhar where as now we got all that jazz.
The nights book is not the only book with explicit imageries yet for some reason it is only remembered. What we see in TV is much more worse for God sake , just tune in to Melody TV and you will know what I mean.
Scheherazade gave life lessons to her husband over 1001 nights especially in Politics and the art of rule , this is why many people wish to see her dead. 


  1. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah....those extremists ...!!!

  2. I still remember the 1985 ban. My father was a librarian and when people heard about this ban he told me that a tremendous number of people asked for it although the four big books were rarely checked out. Almost no one knew, before this ban, about the story that has explicit sex talk. I read the story and it is very explicit. I read it behind my father's back since we have a copy at home and I was 12 years old that time. But then I think it is something valuable from our history and we should not destroy it. I can't comprehend what these lawyers are trying to achieve. By doing this, every teenager wants to read it now. This is a treasure why they want to get rid of it?

  3. The edition prepared by Harvard professor Muhsin Mahdi, based on a 14th- or 15th-century manuscript (the oldest surviving manuscript of the Nights), is also lots of fun. The manuscript was written in a mixture of Egyptian/Syrian dialect and simple classical Arabic. Those lawyers would love the Story of the Porter and the Three Ladies, in which the characters try to think of as many obscene words as possible for male and female genitals. Mahdi's edition was published by Brill in 1984 (ISBN 9004074317) and is now out of print, but you can still find it in university libraries and through used book dealers.


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