I wrote this story on 3rd of April 1986. The epoch is around 1750 AD and
the place where it starts and ends is north of Medina, in what is now
Saudi Arabia, between the El Saum Mountain (in a good Atlas you can find
it) and the sea.
The story, while full of adventure, with regard to sexuality progresses
slowly. The two main characters reach love and sex very gradually and
spontaneously. When their sexual relationship begins they both are
virgin, even if no longer teenagers.
The existence of the small kingdom and of the main characters is a
complete invention, but the historical background and the parts about
Islam, are historically correct. Several anecdotes attributed to the
main characters are based on factual accounts of historical events.
I hope you enjoy reading this story. If you want send me feedback
(constructive criticism, praises, flames) e-mail me.
Arab alphabet: Alif Baa Taa Thaa Jiim Hhaa Khaa Daal Raa Zaay Siin Shiin
S'saad Ddaad Ttaa Z'zaa 'Ayn Ghayn Faa Qaaf Kaaf Laam Miim Nuun Haa Waaw
There are different ways to transliterate Arabic to Latin characters. I
used the transliteration system of Mr. Penacchini, an Italian Expert of
classical Arabic. Often Arab letters were used instead of numbers to
divide the several parts of a text.
People names: Important people names were often written as:
-----ibn----el---- where IBN means "son of" and "EL" (sometimes also AL
ot UL in Turkish) is an article after what comes or the place of birth,
or the place where the person lived or also an attribute like "the
great", "the severe" or "the tall" and so on. Hence, for instance, Nadim
ibn Yussuf el Saum is: Nadim = personal name; ibn Yussuf = son of
Yussuf (=Joseph); el Saum = (born in) the Saum (mountain)
Dates: Muslims count the years from the Ajirah, the flight of Muhammad
(the Prophet) from Mecca to Medina, in the Julian Calendar July 16th,
622. So 1102 of the Ajirah is equivalent to 1724 AD.
Al Qur'an: the Koran = the sacred book of Islam; in Muslim belief, it
contains revelations made to Muhammad by Allah.
Amir: Emir. Amara= to command. The commandant. In certain Muslim
countries a ruler, prince or commandant. A title given Mohammad's
descendants throuh his daughter Faat'mah.
Badaawin: Bedouin. Badaawi= desert dweller. Badaawin is the plural. Men
of any of the nomadic desert tribes od Arabia, Syria or North Africa.
Bazaar: = market. Market or street of shops and stalls, especially in
Middle Eastern countries.
Dhimmi: Counsellor. Honorific title bestowed by the Khalifa to prominent
Diwaan: Divan = bundle of paper. Council room or audience chamber, used
in the Ottoman Empire. A very beautiful and famous example is the small
Divan in the Topkapy Palace in Istanbul.
Fallahin: fellahin. Fallah = farmer, paesant. Fallahin is the plural of
Faqir: fakir = poor. A member of a Muslim holy sect who lives by
begging. Also any muslim itinerant beggar, often reputed to perform
Hajj: Pilgrimage to Mecca; a duty any male muslim has to accomplish at
least once in his life.
Hammam: = turkish bath. A place for baths where the bather, after a
period of heavy perspiration in a room of hot steam, is washed, massaged
and cooled by another bather or by specialized personnel.
Harem: = prohibited. Is the part of a Muslim household in which the
women live, often watched by an eunuch (gelded male) and where, apart
from the house owner, adult males cannot enter.
Imam: = to walk before, to precede. Guide, leader. The leader of prayer
in a Muslim mosque. Equivalent to a Christian Bishop.
Khalifa: Caliph = successor. Supreme ruler. Title taken by Mohammed's
successors as secular and religious heads of Islam.
Karuan Saraai: Caravansary = inn for caravans. Is a kind of inn normally
not close to towns, where caravans stop for the night. It is normally a
large central court, surrounded by porches for the animals and on the
first floor rooms for the travelers. Sometimes at the center there is
also a small mosque.
Khan: another word for caravansary (see)
Masjid: The mosque = place of adoration, temple. Often there is a big
chandelier, ring shaped, holding tenths of lanterns, hanging from the
central dome from where it is suspended by chains.
Meddah: traveling story teller. Often they sing their tales that are
normally in verses.
Minaret: A high and slender tower attached to a mosque, with one or more
projecting balconies, often ring shaped, from which a muezzin calls the
people to prayer. Important mosques can have several minarets
Muazzim: muezzin = the proclaimer. The crier that calls people to prayer
five times per day. He also takes care of the mosque, and is equivalent
to a Christian church sacristan.
Mullah: = master. Muslim teacher or interpreter of the religious law.
Equivalent to a Christian "moral theologian" or to a priest.
'Omar: is a male name. Omar (without the prior apostrophe) means
"donkey" hence arabs often made puns on those two words. Nadim seems not
to use such puns, but sometimes arab jokes are very subtle...
Shah: =ruler. Title equivalent to king. The persian shah was called
shahinshah, that is king of kings, hence Emperor.
Shaikh: Sheik = old man. The chief of an Arab family, tribe or village,
a ruler. A local Lord.
Sultan: = ruler. A Muslim ruler. Title of the monarch of Turkey.
Ulama: = wise man. In the Islamic world designates a judge and doctor in
theology and religious jurisprudence. Equivalent to the Saint
Inquisition Judges of old Catholic Church.
Visir: Vizier = bearer of burdens. Is a State Minister. A Great Visir is
like a First Minister.
Waadi: Wady = channel of a river. A water course that is dry, except
during the rainy season.
Yenicheri:: janizary. Turk yeni=new and cheri=soldier: the new trups. A
soldier (former a slave, quite always a foreigner) in the turkish
Sultan's Guard. Established in the 14th century, was abolished in 1862.