Sunday, December 20, 2015

Albiblio - Egyptian Nights Database

 picture of restaurant in Sharm el-Sheikh from

Rasoul Aliakbari has compiled an excellent resource for 1001 Nights folks. It's Albiblio, a website devoted to everything about Egyptian manifestations of the Nights and is a treasure of online resources.

Here is the link -

From the website: "Given the scarcity and dispersal of materials on the Egyptian book history of One Thousand and One Nights, Albiblio website mainly aims to present copies of the Nights that have appeared in print in Egypt. In addition, Albiblio will contain contemporary responses as well as scholarly research about this corpus. Aiming to be comprehensive, this project is evolving and testifies to the vibrant presence of the Nights in modern Egyptian literature and culture. The information is derived from OCLC Worldcat, Index Islamicus, Index Arabicus, and correspondence with major Middle Eastern libraries among other sources. The compiler welcomes criticism and feedback as well as suggestions to be added to the bibliographies."

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ali Baba and the Seven Saracens (1964)

Ali Baba and the Seven Saracens is a 1964 Italian film directed by Emimmo Salvi. Its Italian title is Simbad contro i sette saraceni.

More info on the film's production details at IMDB:

And the film, in public domain, can be seen here (edited by someone from its original version in order to correspond with the Italian version's timeline) in English:

Thursday, October 15, 2015

New Revelations about Disney's Aladdin

Disney has apparently issued a bunch of press releases to the media to tout their new Aladdin: Diamond Edition on digital, Disney Movies Anywhere and Blu-Ray.

The following "news" from E! reveals that the racially problematic introductory character of the film was actually the genie in disguise. The directors/producers were going to reveal this at the end of the film but, according to the article, it seems they forgot about it.

They were also going to set the film in Baghdad. Due to the Gulf War, they changed it to the "fictional" Agrabah.

Anyway, you can read more of the press release here -

Here are some quotes from it (I like the heroic notion of Roy Disney saying no! We cannot have this film set in Iraq! Like it's some kind of major cultural event for the world.):

"According to Musker, composers Howard Ashman and Alan Menken's original version had been set in Baghdad, Iraq. "We kept it Baghdad in our first treatment, and then the Gulf War happened—the first Gulf War. Roy Disney said, 'This can't be in Baghdad.' So, I took letters and did a jumbled anagram and came up with Agrabah," he explained. "We came up with a few alternates. But no, we never thought it was post-apocalyptic, futuristic or in some other time.""

Clements, however, did confirm one longstanding rumor. "I saw something that speculates that the peddler at the beginning of Aladdin is the Genie. That's true!" he said. "That was the whole intention, originally. We even had that at the end of the movie, where he would reveal himself to be the Genie, and of course Robin did the voice of the peddler. Just through story changes and some editing, we lost the reveal at the end. So, that's an urban legend that actually is true."

Monday, September 7, 2015

Jasmine Redux

Here is a piece by multi-talented Ms. Nina (Jorgeline Andrea Torres). It's of Jasmine from Disney's Aladdin:

Follow Ms. Nina -

Instagram -

Tumblr -

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Live Action Prequel to Aladdin

Thanks to Paul for passing this along. Our friends at Disney are in the works putting together a live-action prequel to Aladdin (1992) called Genies. It's apparently the back story of the Genie's life. It is being written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (the duo behind Freddy vs. Jason (2003)) and produced by Tripp Vinson.

"The new project would focus on the realm of the Genies and reveal how Aladdin's Genie ended up enslaved in the lamp.

Although Genies is only in the early stages of development, the long-term plan is to have the project lead into an Aladdin live-action movie."

More here –

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Aladdin City Dubai

You can always count on Dubai. The Emirate is spending its dirhams on "Aladdin City" - a massive, Nights inspired building that's going to enhance the creek with shopping and a hotel.

According to the Director General of Dubai Municipality the towers will be “icons of legends of the past with a touch of beauty and tourism characteristic of the city.”

(More -

And from Emirates 24/7 -

"The project, which was announced in April 2014, will have three towers, comprising commercial and hotel space, with the towers spread over a distance of 450 metres on Dubai Creek. The total cost has not been revealed.

It will have air-conditioned bridges with moving floor to connect the towers, driveways and parking lots. Moreover, the shape of the bridge that will link the buildings represents the form of exotic marine life such as dragon and snakes."


Monday, March 30, 2015

Parodies of the Nights

I found this interesting musing on the excellent blog and online Nights resource Scheherazade's Web -

It's an essay by Jack Ross on parodies of the Nights in Western literature and investigates even the nature of what parody is itself.

You can read the entire essay here -

"The Nights, in short, fight back - for if a parodist simply counterfeits the manner of the stories without rivalling their plots, then his critique inevitably draws fire. Thackeray, never strong in this respect, is forced to borrow a story from a German Orientalist; Dickens - whose satire is directed at British politics rather than the Arabian Nights themselves - contents himself with retelling the stories of the Merchant and the Genie, the talkative Barber and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Poe adds a new voyage to Sindbad’s seven (a favourite expedient - witness the 1970s’ film of The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, or John Barth’s Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor).

Of our mid-nineteenth-century group, only Twain and Meredith (and Théophile Gautier) invent their own plots. What is more, none of our authors are self-confident enough to see their stories succeeding where Scheherazade’s have failed. Gautier’s thousand-and-second night, supplied by him in Paris at the urging of the exhausted storyteller herself, proves insufficient to prevent her execution; Poe’s narrative positively provokes it; while both Thackeray and Dickens ignore the necessity for an ending. They become collaborators with the frame-story, rather than rivals to it (there is, in fact, a translation of the Nights which ends with just such a dénouement, the bored Sultan cutting off Scheherazade’s head.

One might sum up, then, by saying that while the enterprise of writing a parody of the Arabian Nights may, at first sight, seem a futile one, it obviously did not appear so to these authors - especially the ones who published their work and who thus presumably expected it to be read and enjoyed."

Saturday, March 7, 2015

1001 and 420 Tales

From the March 4, 1932 edition of the Eagle Valley Enterprise., comes this clip -

"'Inspired by Hasheesh?'

It is generally supposed that the 'Arabian Nights,' and others of these weird strange Eastern tales were written under the influence of hasheesh, which lends such a marvelous brilliancy to the imagination"

more at -

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

1001 Nights Soap Pulled After Complaints

Aldi soap in Germany pulls 1001 Nights soap after people complained about the image of the Hagia Sophia on its label. The complaints argued that the image was blasphemous.

"Aldi's troubles began in December of last year, when they stacked their shelves with a liquid soap called "Ombia - 1001 Nacht," or "1,001 Nights," named after the famous Arabian nights fables. The crucial detail: those who have complained say the soap's packaging allegedly shows a mosque.
Muslim customers viewed the item as offensive, saying a mosque did not belong even in the vicinity of a lavatory. Many contacted Aldi Süd on the supermarket's Facebook page.

"When I saw your liquid soap by Ombia on your shelves, I was a little shocked since it showed a mosque," one of Aldi Süd's Facebook friends posted on the social network in German. "The mosque with its dome and minarets is a symbol that stands for dignity and respect for Muslims. That's why I don't find it appropriate to depict this meaningful image on an item of daily use."

Resolution attempt backfired

Aldi reacted swiftly about the potentially blasphemous soap. It issued a statement on Facebook saying that it would remove the item from its stores. "We're sorry that you were irritated by the design of our soap," Aldi apologized. "Of course, we have forwarded your note to the appropriate contact person in this house so that they are informed and sensitized to the issue.""

Full article at DW -

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Mushi Productions presents A Thousand and One Nights (1969) - 千夜一夜物語

A Thousand and One Nights (千夜一夜物語 Senya Ichiya Monogatari?) is a 1969 anime feature film directed by Eiichi Yamamoto, conceived by Osamu Tezuka. The film is part of Mushi Production's Animerama, a series of films aimed at an adult audience. More on wikipedia -

Someone has uploaded it to youtube with subtitles in English. It is an "adult" animated film with a decidedly psychedelic 60s feel to it.

A review by Fred Patten has more on its background -

Here is the film -