Friday, December 22, 2006

Fi Ash-Shi`r Al-Jahili. This book by Taha Husayn was published in 1926 and then banned shortly hereafter by the book burners of Al-Azhar. (My father who attended law school at Fu'ad I University in Cairo (later renamed Cairo University) in the 1940s told me that he would even then hear demonstrators chanting (on Taha Husayn): A`ma Al-Basar wa-l-Basirah.) AlJazeera interviewed Nasir Ad-Din Al-Asad (an Arab linguist and former speech writer for King Husayn of Jordan), and he showed his copy of the 1926 edition, and said that it is the only one edition remaining (that he knew of, he said). Of course, there are other copies of that edition of that book. I saw one copy at Princeton University Library, and there is another copy at the Hoover library at Stanford, not to mention two copies at the Library of Congress. (I think that I also saw a copy at Widener Library at Harvard--can somebody verify that?) I thought that I had a copy myself (of the 1926 edition), until a printing expert verified that my edition was in fact reproduced years later from the 1926 edition. Poor me. (Brenda confirmed to me that there is a copy at Widener Library at Harvard).