“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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.