When the World Spoke Arabic Film Series – May 6

Join us for the fifth evening of the six-part series When the World Spoke Arabic: The Golden Age of Arab Civilization.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 6, 7PM, ICPL, Meeting Rm. A

“The Thousand and One Nights: A Historical Perspective” (27 min.)
Encompassing fairy tales, romances, legends, fables, parables, and anecdotes, The Thousand and One Nights is a composite of popular oral stories that developed over several centuries, mainly during the Empire of the Caliphate. This program scrutinizes the wonderfully audacious tale of Scheherazade and what it tells the attentive reader about the dreams of Arab men and women during the empire’s golden age.

“Ulema and Philosophers: Faith vs. Reason in Islamic Arabia” (26 min.)
By replacing paganism with monotheism and tribal life with empire-building, the Arabs of the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties effected a complete paradigm shift in their worldview. This program studies the codification of Islamic law and assimilation of non-Arab texts—and the ensuing competition between the ulema, or doctors of the law, and the philosophers, who saw reason as an equal to divine enlightenment.

The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City Public Library, UI Middle East and Muslim World Studies Program, African Studies Program, and Medieval Studies Program are sponsors of this film series.

All films will be introduced by Edward Miner, International Studies Bibliographer, University of Iowa Libraries, with discussion to follow. This film series will be shown in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name in the north foyer of the University of Iowa Main Library. For more information, contact Edward Miner at (319)335-5883 or edward-miner@uiowa.edu.