The Arab world inspires the world through its culture. Part of these traditions lies the stories of heroes. The most prominent one is The Seven Voyages of Sinbad story. This one is so good, it’s hard to put it down even after all these years.
Of course, like all other Arabian stories, there are lessons or morals. These morals started in the Arab world and made their way to Europe and later on, worldwide. Naturally, this work of art has many translations required worldwide.
Because these stories were oral ones passed from one generation to the next, it is hard to know the origins. However, it is safe to say that they are of Middle-Eastern or Arabic descent.
The tale starts with a poor man living in the city of Baghdad. He is a porter and finds himself in front of a rich man’s home. He smells the great scent of food. He is mesmerized by the beautiful home as well. Of course, he starts complaining about the unfairness of life and how one person has all the riches. Meanwhile, people like him have absolutely nothing but hard work, pain and poorness.
At first glance, you would assume that there is only on Sindbad: our poor porter. It turns out the owner of this mansion is also called Sindbad, but he happens to be a sailor. The rich man overhears our porter’s wining and tells him the following poetic lines:
“By means of toil man shall scale the height;
Who to fame aspires musn’t sleep o’night:
Who seeketh pearl in the deep must dive,
Winning weal and wealth by his main and might:
And who seeketh Fame without toil and strife
Th’ impossible seeketh and wasteth life.” (Burton, 1997, pp. 417-8.)
Interesting wisdom right? We thought so too.
His first voyage is when he sails to what he believes to be an island. Unfortunately for him, it was actually a whale. A boat passes and ends up saving him putting him on an island.
In fact, this is only the beginning.
The fantastic voyages of Sindbad the sailor have so much content. The adventures of Sindbad the sailor shed light on a lot of lessons. He characters and represents humanity and seeking fortune through hard work. Each voyage teaches a number of different lessons and morals. However, we would love that you figure that yourself.
As much as we would like to tell you, we would surely ruin the fun of reading. It’s a nice and educating experience in learning Arabic and its culture. Not only that, but also a few life lessons that could all come in handy.
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