Since the time of the First Crusade, tales of Abu Zaid of Saruj have been read, admired,
imitated and praised, from Spain to the Hindu Kush. Al-Hariri of Basra
(1054-1122) is variously described as a silk-merchant, and a high official of
the Seljuk monarch Malik Shah. He was the author of The Assemblies
regarded for eight centuries as the greatest treasure in Arabic after the Qur’an.
The adventures of the astonishing rogue Abu Zaid are, on one level, entertaining
in their own right. But this book’s depth is based upon the inner thread woven
through the tales, which mirror the antics of the human mind on its way through life.
hardback 267 pages ISBN:0 900860 86 3 £16.50
Revised 15 September 2011
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