Monday, February 17, 2014

1001 Nights Souq Bahrain

Bahrain is going to get Arabian Nighted. Every Friday and Saturday until May 31, the Al Areen Palace and Spa will host a costumed Arabian bazaar where you can buy jewelry, perfume and other things while presumably engaging with a sense of the Nights created by the decorated stalls, costumed performers and other elements.

21st century touches include ATV riding and jumpy houses.

From their website -


"A Brand New type of retail experience TOTALLY THEMED retail sales area with non-stop family entertainment that will be a day out for all the family, where they can shop, eat, drink, be entertained and fascinated."

"The “1001 Nights Souq”, an Aladdin-style medieval themed market complete with authentic stalls and vendors role-playing medieval characters will be launched on March 7.

Thousands of items will be on sale, including silver jewellery, perfumes, incense, fancy candles, clay pots, brass trays, ornaments, spices, nuts and candies, leather goods and handmade items.

The market will cover several distinct areas such as retail market stalls, staging area where lively performances from entertainers will be featured, camel rides, horse rides and carriages, children’s play area, falconers, strolling musicians, Moroccan style water seller, acrobatics, magicians, jugglers, fire eaters, etc. A living museum including – blacksmith, calligraphy, brass decoration and other artesan products will also be included."

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sinbad The Fifth Voyage (2014)

Here is the trailer for the new film Sinbad The Fifth Voyage ("Inspired by the Arabian Nights!") from Giant Flick Films. Many thanks to Paul for passing this on.

Some of the exaggerated accents by the actors in the clip are particularly interesting ("Sunbod"?). The effects seem like a mix of Harryhausen inspired monsters and costumed actors with model sets ala Godzilla. AKA "Epic!"

Sinbad The Fifth Voyage was released February 7 of this year in limited screenings in the USA.

Patrick Stewart stars as a narrator.

More information (including "behind the scenes" video clips) at -

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ali Baba - San Juan Puerto Rico

Was strolling through a rainy summer afternoon last year in San Juan Puerto Rico's Condado district as we all must do at some point. Came across this on the sidewalk, it's a Turkish/Mediterranean restaurant that is apparently quite good. They were closed that day, but will have to try it next time.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

World's Largest Sand Sculpture - 1001 Arabian Nights in Kuwait

Thanks to Aziz for letting me know about this. As part of the P2BK (Proud to be Kuwaiti) event at the Remal International Festival they have built the world's largest sand sculpture display based on stories from The 1001 Nights.

They open today, after some delays. There was a rare rain storm during construction that moved things back a bit.

The company overseeing the project is The Sand Sculpture Company, like them on facebook for access to hundreds of pictures, some of which I've posted here -

Read more about the festival at Kuwait Times -

The festival's facebook page -

A video (in Arabic) with great shots of the sand sculptures:

More on the construction of the sculpture from The Nelson Daily -

And from Victoria News -

Black Bagdad - John H. Craige

Black Bagdad: The Arabian Nights Adventures of a Marine Captain in Haiti is a book by John H. Craige about his time spent in the US Military in Haiti. It was written/published in the early 1930s.

It is interesting to me because of its overt connections to the Nights alongside Western depictions of race/culture/strangeness/other.

Text below from the book selling website -

"A.L. Burt Company, NY & Chicago, 1933. By arrangement with Minton Balch & Co., VG+/VG--. Second Impression (April 1933).

This was one of the first books to bring voodoo to the attention of the outer world. Jacket blurb (ca. 1933): "No one has seen Haiti more intimately than Capt Craige of the U.S. Marine Corps. For a number of years he was loaned to the Haitian Government and served as a white officer of the black troops of that republic. His first duty was in a wild & mountainous interior district nearly half as large as the State of New Jersey. Here the inhabitants shuffled on the sides of their feet. Some of them had peanut-heads and could not straighten their knee-joints.

Captain Craige learned their language, on which he is an authority. He went to their dances, attended their funerals, studied their weird, primitive religion,-- the voodoo. The natives called him Papa Blanc, White Father. Then he was called to take charge of the Police Force of Port au Prince, capital of Haiti. He found the city a black Bagdad full of happenings & tales as fantastic, exciting & beautiful as any Scheherazade related of the days of Haroun al Raschid. Voodoo rites, cannibalism, black magic, *wangas* were all part of his daily routine.

He tells the story in distinguished prose that carries the reader breathless from the opening paragraph to the last sentence. That a Marine officer could write such a book is remarkable, but Captain Craige is a remarkable man. In his youth he studied divinity and is acquainted with the classical tongues as well as several of the languages of western Europe. His adult life as described in a "Profile" in the *New Yorker* sounds like the exploits of a modern D'Artagnan: he has been a professional gambler, a gold miner in Alaska, heavy-weight champion of France, a sailor, a newspaper man, to mention only a few of his non-military activities. He has served under the flags of Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua & Honduras, as well as the Stars & Stripes-- and he still carries a Mexican bullet around with him. At present Captain Craige is in charge of the publicity bureau of the Marine Corps."