Saturday, November 20, 2010

Arabic Folktales

     This week, Professor Zaru came to speak to the class regarding Arabic Folktales.  From the beginning I realized that I had some misconceptions about exactly what countries were included in  the Arab world.  I was in the rough ballpark, but included some countries of which did not belong, as well as exclude some that did.  

     It was very interesting to see the connections of Professor Zaru's lecture with the lecture of Dr. Ochieng' K'Olewe's presentation last week on story telling in Kenya.  There were a lot af parallels between the two cultures.  Kenya, where Dr. K'Olewe is from borders two Arab countries, Sudan and Somalia.  This may be a reason for so many similarities.  In both of these places, the Arab world and Kenya, story telling is an art.  It is a tradition that is used as entertainment, insight, and to get a moral across.  

     I enjoyed when Professor Zaru talked about the magic carpet.  It is an item of which now that I think about, is very prominent in culture, even today.  It made me think of Vivien Deitz's presentation in which she talked about the magic lamp, and we had to imagine taking a magic carpet.  It is such a prominent part of culture.  There is a great song by Stepponwolf called "Magic Carpet Ride" .  
     This cartoon pokes fun at the American culture.  I think it is so funny because it mocks the fact that Americans use cheap linoleum in their homes rather than beautiful rugs.  It is just a witty cartoon.  Professor Zaru's presentation was very informative, leaving me with much more knowledge than I had entered with.

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