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Arab and German Tales Exhibition at Qatar National Library

April 17 - August 18

qatar germany

The exhibition is organised within the framework of the Qatar–Germany Year of Culture and provides an insight into the history of Arabic and German fairy and folk tales, and how the two traditions influenced each other. It aims to show the transcultural value of narrative traditions as a shared intangible cultural heritage and highlight mutual influences, shared ideas and cultural transfer between the Arab world and Germany through storytelling and tales.

In the exhibition, unique masterpieces from antiquity to the present day are presented for the first time together, including stories of the Arabian Nights, the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, and samples of the original Arabic handwriting of famous German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The exhibition also includes rare Egyptian tales written on papyri (writing surfaces made from the pith of a plant growing in the Egyptian wetlands), such as the Story of Sinuhe, dating from the XII dynasty (approximately 1900 years BCE), a cuneiform tablet with the Epic of Gilgamesh from the 13th century BCE, and examinations of the famed One Thousand and One Nights through the Arabic oral tradition, before it was adapted and amended by European writers such as the Brothers Grimm.

Although in both the Arab world and Germany these famous tales originated for an adult audience, today they are perceived as fictional literature for children and figure prominently in modern adaptations, including film.

* Open to all without registration

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