I've seen this article (linked below) recently being passed around on facebook and on the blogs and am more and more convinced that Saidian Orientalism is a big part of the Nights phenomenon and their draw in the "West."
Its humor is inherently perpetuating cultural superiority (ie look at these silly people, they really think the 1001 Nights is real) and if you take that aspect away the article becomes just another uninteresting piece of information, you could probably find several hundred similar lawsuits weekly in the US but passing on that wouldn't have the same effect.
What do you think?
SAUDI ARABIA: A lawsuit against a genie
-- Jeffrey Fleishman in Cairo
07:00 AM PT, Jul 13 2009
read the whole article:
"A family in Saudi Arabia has filed suit in a religious court against an unnamed genie, or jinn, who sounds most unpleasant: It steals cellphones, whispers threats and occasionally flings stones.
“We began to hear strange sounds,” a family member who requested anonymity told the Saudi daily Al Watan. “At first we did not take it seriously, but then stranger things started to happen, and the children got particularly scared when the genie started throwing stones.”
The genie -- or genies -- had demands: “A woman spoke to me first, and then a man. They said we should get out of the house,” said the family member, adding that his clan fled their home near the city of Medina.
Jinns and genies are spirits born out of fire that have supernatural powers. They appear in the Koran and Arab mythology, creatures living between humanity and the elements. One of their most famous incarnations lived in Aladdin’s lamp. "