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Revisiting A Thousand and One Nights 

From May 24, 2024 until June 10, 2024The seminar will take place on Monday 10 June, starting at 6:00 p.m..
Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). The seminar will take place on Monday 10 June, starting at 6:00 p.m.. Prior registration required.
Registration by clicking on this link. 
In Spanish.

This seminar, organised in collaboration with the Sheikh Zayedl Book Award, will be held on Monday 10 June at Casa Árabe's headquarters in Madrid. An open day to shed light on some aspects of this formidable work. Register now to attend. 

The Thousand and One Nights is a masterpiece of world storytelling, whose complexity and variety of stories have made it a true literary treasure. Its interweaving of tales of adventure, romance, magic and morality has placed it in a prominent place in the history of literature, offering a source of fascination and inspiration, capturing the imagination of readers of all ages and cultures throughout the centuries.  

The universe of Alf Layla wa Layla is so vast that it invites many different readings. With this in mind, Casa Árabe and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award have organized this open day to shed light on some unknown aspects of this formidable work.

18:00 Welcome  
Irene Lozano, Director-General, Casa Árabe
H.E. Ali Bin Tamim, Secretary-General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre

18:10 Opening words: That magical and prodigious book
Luis Alberto de Cuenca, poet laureate (2015) and former director of Spanish National Library

18:20 Revisiting 1001 Nights  
Mounira Soliman, Re-writing A thousand and One Nights from a feminist viewpoint (20 min). 
Many critics and readers argue then that the tales from The Arabian Nights degrade women as they are considered to be nothing more than objects of pleasure or causing the downfall of men. But Shahrazad’s fierce individuality, singular cleverness, and apparent charisma transform her into a champion for women, who transgresses without effectively altering the attitudes of her society. She stands as an epitome of a modern woman feminist, her influence encompassing generations after generations.

Salvador Peña, Multimodal Shahrazad: A Thousand and One Nights and its re-enactments (20 min)  
Throughout the centuries the Thousand and One Nights have passed time and again from its original form of a well-known book to adaptations in different means of expression. We propose a brief overview of some of the most important ones in literature, music, cinema, theater and painting, trying to answer the question: have these adaptations been faithful to the original message of the work?

19:00 Hanoos Hanoos, The Brushes of The Arabian Nights (10 min)
The painter, of Iraqi origin and living in Spain, will talk about how he has captured, in his recent exhibition 'Shahrazad and the Arabian Nights', the stories and characters immersed in his daily life through the use of shapes, composition or nuances. His creative process emphasizes the importance of color, with the ability to highlight or hide part of the story. His sources of inspiration represent the heritage of European art, where East and West coexist in the foreground.

Paulo Lemos Horta, Shahrazad and Hanna Diyab: storytellers of A Thousand and One Nights
The talk will focus, on the one hand, on Shahrazad as the narrator of the tales rather than as the Sultan's love interest, and on the other, on Hanna Diyab, the Syrian who passed on the most famous tales such as "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp", "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" and "Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Pari Banu", added to Antoine Galland's collection of tales in French in the early 18th century. The emphasis on these two storytellers in a new light suggests different ways of approaching The Thousand and One Nights and reveals new information.

Desirée López Bernal, The tales of Ali Baba and Aladdin and their traces in the European folklore tradition (20 min)
The last volumes of the French translation-adaptation of The Arabian Nights published by Antoine Galland contain two of the tales that were most successful with the European public: Aladdin and Ali Baba. Introduced in Europe from Galland's text, they were soon widely disseminated, becoming established in the oral traditions of almost the entire continent, to the point of being today a typical tale of international folklore. In this talk we will explore in detail how and when both tales were included by Galland in his Mille et une nuits and we will learn about the impact that both stories had on the European folklore tradition, with special attention to Spain. 
Revisiting A Thousand and One Nights 
Luis Alberto de Cuenca Prado is a Spanish poet, philologist, Hellenist, translator, essayist, columnist, critic, literary editor and former politician. He has been awarded the National Poetry Prize (2015). He is a full academician of the Royal Academy of History, academician of the Academy of Good Letters of Granada, member of the Royal Board of Trustees of the Prado Museum and member of the jury of the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature. He has been director of the National Library of Spain (1996-2000) and Secretary of State for Culture (2000-2004).

Paulo Lemos Horta is a scholar of world literature, the works, and authors who exert an impact beyond their cultures of origin. He is currently interested in the cross-cultural collaborations that influenced A Thousand and One Nights, and the reception of the works of 16th Century Portuguese author Luis de Camões, who lived in the Middle East and South Asia. His latest book, Marvellous Thieves: Secret Authors of the Arabian Nights was published by Harvard University Press in 2017. He has joined NYU Abu Dhabi from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, where he was an assistant professor.  

Desirée López Bernal is Senior Professor in the Department of Semitic Studies at the University of Granada, where she teaches subjects related to classical Arabic literature and the transmission of Arabic literature to European literatures. Her research revolves around these two thematic axes, and she is the author of several studies on the trace of Arabic storytelling in Spanish and European written literature and oral tradition. She is currently participating in the research project “The corpus of oral narrative in the western Mediterranean basin: comparative study and digital edition.”

Hanoos Hanoos is a painter, printmaker and modern art teacher. He studied at the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad, obtained a bachelor's degree and a doctorate at the Complutense University. He has held more than fifty national and international exhibitions and has won thirty-five painting awards. In addition to his canvases, he makes engravings on his own canvas. Within his work, the series Semblantes, Confronted Perspectives, Itineraries, the collection of portraits and his monumental work Baghdad are worth highlighting.

Mounira Soliman is a professor of English at Cairo University. She is the coeditor of Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa: A Postcolonial Outlook (2013). Her most recent publication is a coedited special issue of Studi Magrebeni on “Artivism, Culture and Knowledge Production for Egalitarian Citizenship in the Middle East and North Africa” (2020). Her research interests include popular culture, Middle East studies, and American studies. She currently working on the production of an Egyptian literary cookbook.

Salvador Peña is Professor of Arabic language and translation at the University of Malaga, he has also taught at the universities of Baghdad, Leeds, Granada, Tetuan and Castilla-La Mancha, among others. In 2017 he received the Spanish National Translation Award for the Spanish version of A Thousand and One Nights translation that also received the Sheikh Hammad Award for Translation from Qatar (2016) and the Translation Award from the Spanish Society for Arabic Studies (2017).  

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