Tales from the Arabian Nights :*Denomination: ...

“There is no other people in the world (says one Eastern traveller) who love a good story so well, and are so excited by hearing romantic tales, as the Arabs.” source unknown

When our children were younger and we lived in the Middle East we began buying a series of children’s books that told tales from the Arabian Nights. Boasting titles like “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” “The Story of Alladin and the Wonderful Lamp” and “Sinbad the Sailor”, they were adapted from the larger book “One Thousand Nights and One” – other wise known as “Arabian Nights”.

Although adapted, these books were not dumbed down. They were long, intricate and involved. They told complex tales of thievery and deception; longing and love. If we wanted to put our children to bed quickly we did not opt for these tales as their bedtime story.

One day as I was reading one of them to my children I started thinking about how much more enjoyable these books were than some of the western children’s books that we had on our shelf. Most of them couldn’t compete with the stories from “One Thousand Nights and One”.

As time went on and we lived longer in the Middle East, our family, lovers of stories to begin with, began to love stories even more. Whether at Cairo coffee houses or around expatriate dinner tables, good stories were plenty and memorable.

And we began to spin our own tales. All true at the core but, like any good story-teller, embellished with rich additions that made the telling and the remembering all the better.

It’s stories that we sometimes miss in this part of the world. We love stories. We love books that tell stories. We love films that tell stories. And we love people who tell stories. It’s not that people don’t have stories in the west, it’s that at times we’ve forgotten how to make space in our world to hear them.

And that brings me to you. Communicating Across Boundaries hit a milestone with views this week  and it’s because of you. You read, you comment, you share posts, you let me know when I get it wrong by not commenting (!) you read more, you share more, you even Facebook and tweet posts!

And you have so.many.stories. So to celebrate I want your voice. I’m starting a series called So. Many. Stories and I want yours! I want guest posts from around the world. Introduce us to your world and tell your story. You don’t have to be a blogger to take part. Write up your story and  it to I’d like stories between 500 to 700 words but if you have a great narrative that is longer, let’s talk! Those chosen will be featured in the So.Many.Stories series and if you have a blog I’ll happily link to your site.

What’s in it for you? More stories and more thoughts from more people. It’s a lot like the “More Bars in More Places” slogan from the cell phone carrier AT&T! Please contact me in the next month if you want to participate.

34 thoughts on “So.Many.Stories

    1. So glad to have you participate Valerie. What a salad bowl of cultures and worldviews – can’t wait to hear how it all comes together – or doesn’t …either or both are stories that need to be told.


  1. I love your sentence: “It’s not that people don’t have stories in the west, it’s that at times we’ve forgotten how to make space in our world to hear them.” Thank you for creating a space for these stories to be told! By the way we had dinner with your brother the other day in the middle of the tree crisis.


    1. Would love a story or three from you! I’m so glad you like the idea! Hoping for some really great ones to come in. If it works it could be it’s own blog…..or book. On a different note – I’m so glad to know you had dinner with Stan. Every day I’ve woken up and prayed for the trees and the people behind the trees.


    1. Thank you! I took a look yesterday and will look more today. I would love a story from you on what it was like when you first immigrated. Finding food, friends and a place for your heart. Would you think about it?


  2. I am looking forward to reading the stories shared! I love stories and so enjoy hearing other’s stories. I never think I have much to tell, but I live vicariously through other’s tales. Your post made me think of how patient’s have a story to tell and when they are facing their mortality close up, they so want others to hear their stories. I have been privileged to hear some of those stories. A few stand out in particular. A fairly young couple (40’s is young to me) when I greeted them to do their chemo teaching wanted to share how they met, how they love to laugh together, and how he surprised his wife for Valentine’s Day even though he was just home from a SNF and his wife was with him 24 hours a day. They were lovely stories and reflected the deep abiding love they had for one another. And when it was long past time to move on, they asked if I had time for just one more… :-) I believe my listening to my patient’s stories is one way I take care of the whole person and that it is part of quality of life.


      1. I think we have that one…I was going through their children’s books yesterday trying to find the series and we packed it into a special box. Too many moves, too many houses = too hard to find things.


    1. I never thought of how listening is able to care for the person until you said it. It’s so true – we tend to think it’s so much more complicated but the reality is that those stories involved the whole person and the person that we don’t see behind all the tubes, the hospital gown, and the diagnosis. Thank you so much for this – while I’ve always loved patients stories, I’ve haven’t connected the dots. Please participate Lou Anne – there are so many stories there!


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