Friday, May 8, 2009

Current Arabic Versions of the Nights


While there is some resurgent interest in the Nights in the Arabic speaking world there still seems to be a lack of diverse versions in Arabic.

I've uploaded some pdfs of Arabic versions that I've found and that Moti passed along to give you an idea of what is currently available, although one scan below is from a library book published in 1901.

I visited several bookstores in Damascus, Syria last summer and found only a couple of versions of 1001 Nights in Arabic. One was an older one from the 1950s-1960s or so that both bookstores I went to wanted about $30-$40 for. It was one volume, white cover with black and white illustrations. I didn't buy these because of the quality of them, they were sold as sort of antique/collectable books and were quite worn.

There was a four volume set in hardcover that I bought for about $20. The only publishing information says "Al Maktaba Al Thakafiya" (which means cultural library) from Beirut Lebanon. Anyone have any info on this publisher? There is no date or author listed on the Thakafiya version.

This volume, it turns out, is exactly the same as another Green covered four volume version I bought in the USA. I also saw the Green version cover for sale in Syria in several shops. The Green version is interesting for a lengthy introduction on the Nights by Dr. Omar Farouq Al Taba (دكتور عمر فاروق الطباع). This version also listed the publication date as 1993 and the publisher as Dar Al Kalam from Beirut. (

Here are the two pdfs of these two: (sorry for the blurred page on the second) - they are just the covers and a couple of pages scanned.



Dar Al Kalam:


Here is the version Moti bought:


And the older version from the library here at UCSD:

Library 1001

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