Now, I am picking through stories of The Arabian Nights: Tales from A Thousand and One Nights. This may have been obvious for everyone else, but I just realized that "thousand and one nights" is referring to the thousand and one stories that Shaharazad told each evening to her husband the king. She always withheld the ending, certifying that should not be killed until she could finish the story, keeping her alive for a thousand and one nights. It's interesting how stories about Sindbad and Aladdin have been changed in recent history for modern kids animated films. The modern movies have a linear clearly outlined plot, and usually star an underdog who rises through the ranks. Modern understandings of plot, values, and desirable protagonists don't always apply in the old versions of these stories.
To be perfectly honest, I am really only reading Arabian Nights to hold myself over until my next book, Azazeel by Youssef Ziedan, arrives. This novel follows a Coptic monk in his life and travels in before the advent of Islam. This book is supposed to be a pretty scathing critique of the Coptic church. This book won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2009, and seems to be steadily gaining popularity in Egypt. Though reading is not the most popular pastime here, this book has been suggested to be by several sources, and every bookstore I have visited has been sold out. My copy should arrive in a week and a half. I can't wait. Hopefully, I'll have enough time to read it once my college classes start!
Also, completely unrelated: hipster glasses and messy hipster fros are taking over Egypt. I not-so-secretly love it.