Syrian Folktales

Syrian Folktales

by Muna Imady

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781933455099
Publisher: MSI Press
Publication date: 01/27/2012
Pages: 126
Sales rank: 788,692
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.27(d)

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Syrian Folktales 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Syrian Folktales is an amazing book which provides great insight into Syrian Culture. It contains interesting Syrian folktales, recipes, and riddles that are very intriguing and interesting to the reader. The recipes are great! I personally tried many of them and enjoyed the delicious Syrian foods. This book is interesting for all ages, all members of my family enjoyed it including my sons, mom, and myself. It shares a folktale from each province in Syria. That's what makes it so unique. For all readers out there who are interested in learning about rich cultures, I highly recommend you read this book. And I hope Ms. Imady continues writing and delighting us with her wonderful folktales. Sulaima
NourZarka More than 1 year ago
Muna Imady's book has captured both my heart & mind. While reading it, I traveled into the realms of the real and the fantastic, the known and the unknown where everything is possible. One of the stories mentioned in the book "The Three Spinners" was told to me by my great aunt who just recently passed away,but her memory will always be present because of this book. I thank the author for letting me remember & live with the memories of my childhood.This book will fill your heart with happiness and joy because it has the touch, the taste and the smell of "Syria" a wonderful country that everyone should discover.
Imano More than 1 year ago
Syrian Folktales is a fascinating book that clearly reflects both the creativity and talent of its author, Muna Imady. This non-fiction book displays a unique manner of bringing culture and folktale together to charm its reader. A new folktale from different parts of Syria highlights its rich heritage, culture and traditions. Not only that, the author’s idea of including a recipe from each region of Syria is clearly very original. It intrigued me and aroused my curiosity to try each and every one of the dishes, thus allowing me to live the experience in a more realistic way, and to indulge in each region’s distinctive culture. Adding a riddle from each region, moreover, adds a sense of amusement and makes it even more delightful to read. After all, what more can a reader ask for? Culture, food, and fun all in one!!! The originality, style and language of the author are bound to cast a spell on its reader the way I, myself, was totally spellbound. Unable to let go of the book, I had to leave everything aside just to finish reading it all!! I lived an extremely beautiful experience that no words can ever express!! I would definitely recommend this remarkable book to all readers, young and old, be they culture lovers or not. I advise them to add this exceptional work of art to their own library or collection of books, and to enrich their minds with the contents of this book. I will definitely await more publications and new books /stories from this extraordinary and gifted author.
LBrary on LibraryThing 16 days ago
It's fascinating to see the common threads in folktales around the world. These tales from Syria draw on many familiar themes: three siblings, the youngest and apparently weakest sibling turning out to be the wisest and most successful, small acts of kindness leading to great rewards. The stories Imady records are enjoyable, though somewhat awkwardly worded in English at times. The bits of context she provides for each region is interesting enough to make me wish to read more about these places. The hadiths and recipes are an unexpected and nice addition to the tales.
aviddiva on LibraryThing 16 days ago
With Syria so much in the news lately, the publication of this small volume of stories, riddles and recipes seems especially timely, and grants the reader an insight into the culture of Syria that creates a connection that goes beyond the images of unrest and violence. Concerned that traditional folklore is being lost, Muna Imady has collected these folk materials from the oral tradition of women throughout Syria, and presents them to us here simply, without embellishment. The book is organized geographically. Imady briefly describes each muhafaza, or governorate, of Syria. Each region is represented by a story, and the stories are accompanied by riddles, songs, and recipes. The tales are nicely varied, and while some are familiar folk variations, others were delightful surprises, containing beings such as gooleh that I hadn't run across before. The recipes are varied as well, ranging from various versions of kibbeh,, which could probably be recreated in a modern American kitchen fairly easily, to the less practical Roast Camel, whose instructions require the cook to kill a camel, wrap it in its skin, and dig a hole in the desert to roast it in. Some of the recipes are a bit shy on actual method, and this is clearly not primarily a cookbook, but they do help to give a rounded picture of common daily culture in Syria, and it was nice to have them included.I also liked the songs and riddles. It would have been nice to have notated music for the songs (which, since they are here only in English translation, are not very accessible without their tunes.) In her introduction, Imady hopes that her work will inspire more comprehensive studies of Syrian folk traditions. Syrian Folktales is a delightful tasting menu for a fascinating culture that is clearly worth exploring further.
wendyrey on LibraryThing 16 days ago
This interesting litle book took a very long time to make it over the pond but was worth the wait. An interesting collection of snippits of Syrian geography, well told folk stories, riddles, recipes and Hadith. The riddles went over my head , wrong cultural background I think, the folk tales were elegantly and sparsely wriiten and I enjoyed them greatly. The recipes, though interesting are the weakest part of the book and need some work. Apart from the Br Eng/ Am Eng differences which sent me to Google to remind myself what Fava beans are, I really should remember these as I have a garden full of Broad Beans growing quietly, there are other issues. They are mainly in cups and pounds (although one has kgs and pounds.. oops) and I am not sure what size cups are used as some seem very wet , although as I am not comfortable using cups this may well be a misunderstanding. There are a number of basic errors in recipe construction, items switching from sliced to diced and back, items appearing in mid method that are not in the ingredients etc. It would help to have identification of unfamiliar ingredients and familiar ingredients with a different name early on in the book, it was not until nearly the last recipe that I realized that 'Arabic Butter' was simply ghee. There are a number of odd turns of phrase, she uses 'solid substance' in several recipes which I think is probably 'smooth even paste' or 'dough' , this is probably due to a lack of familiarity with recipespeak. Writing recipes is a specialized skill and I think this book would greatly benefit from a professional recipe copyeditor to tidy up the cooking sections. The recipes are interesting, if perhaps light on spices and well worth a try. An interesting, informatve little book, although I would urge ms Imady to engage a recipe professional before the book is reprinted.
Blue90 on LibraryThing 16 days ago
Muna Imady's book has captured both my heart & mind. While reading it, I traveled into the realms of the real and the fantastic, the known and the unknown where everything is possible. One of the stories mentioned in the book "The Three Spinners" was told to me by my great aunt who just recently passed away,but her memory will always be present because of this book. I thank the author for letting me remember & live with the memories of my childhood.This book will fill your heart with happiness and joy because it has the touch, the taste and the smell of "Syria" a wonderful country that everyone should discover.
Luka.Machablishvili on LibraryThing 16 days ago
I liked the book written by the wonderful MonaI have always dreamed to visit Syria in particularOld DamascusI thank my friend Olga, which has given me this wonderful bookWhich prompted me despite all the dangers to buy card pilotI and my girlfriend Olga to visit Syria next weekI hope to meet you Mona next week in SyriaAnd see you some day in RussiaThank you Again Mona Imady
rastaphrog on LibraryThing 16 days ago
An interesting collection of Folk Tales from Syria. There's one tale from each region of Syria, along with a description of what that region is liked and noted for. The book wasn't quite what I expected as it also had recipes interspersed with the stories. I'd thought there would be more tales, but it was still an enjoyable read.A few of the recipes look like they'd be worth trying, but I think I'll pass on the one for Camel. I don't think one of those could be gotten easily here in the USA. *G*
Halool on LibraryThing 16 days ago
A Wonderful book to read...I loved the songs and the riddles the most for they reminded me of my grandmother.The rich oral tradition in "Syrian Folktales" makes me proud to be a Syrian!
Josh.Fransway on LibraryThing 16 days ago
I loved the book written by MonaAnd specialy the recipesthe book is very intersting What I liked most is the image of Muna with her grandmotherI think the Munas bookis wonderful And she is a great writerI thank munaI m Francois from Paris
marq on LibraryThing 16 days ago
It seems to me that this book actually has more recipes than folk tales. Not to be read when hungry, they make my mouth water *. Muna Imady has collected folk tales, recipes, riddles and "Hadith" (traditional stories of the life of the prophet Mohammed) from different regions of Syria. She also includes a brief geographical, historical and archaeological overview of each region or "Muhafaza". The folktales themselves mostly seem like stories that would be told to children. Although I didn't understand what the moral message in some of them was, or if indeed there was one. Perhaps I should not have had that expectation and those stories are purely for entertainment.Also, we hear a lot in the news these days about the civil war in Syria. This book made me think about the reality of people living there and made me feel more connected. It is a reminder that we should all care. We should remember that the author of this book is living in Damascus. I travelled in Syria in my early twenties. More than the water wheels of Hama, the desert thunder storm in Palmyra, Baron's hotel in Aleppo and the ancient Omayyad mosque and the "street called straight" in Damascus, I remember the softly husky voices of the friendly young men that (briefly) became my friends there.* I'm looking forward to cooking the last recipe in the book - NOT.
Neverwithoutabook on LibraryThing 16 days ago
I found [Syrian Folktales] to be and interesting look at the folktales of another country and culture. Some were recognizable for their message, some were not. Included in the book were little riddles and some hadiths that I found interesting. The recipes were also interesting but somewhat repetitive seeming to use many of the same ingredients and made me wonder if that is all that the people of Syria eat or if that is their main food products. I would have been interested to see some other types of dishes although it is a bit difficult to visualize the finished product from a recipe. The little descriptions of the various provinces of Syria were interesting as well. For a small book, there was a lot packed into it. Maybe a little more depth and a bit larger book would have been more appropriate to the subject. Some illustrations or photos would have been nice as well. All in all, I enjoyed this book despite it being in need of some grammatical corrections. It is a bit difficult, if English is not your first language, to get everything right, though.
mimsy_jess on LibraryThing 16 days ago
Imady has successfully accomplished what we all say we should do: get a hold of the story-tellers and write this stuff down. Riddles, songs, and recipes from the various governorates of Syria flesh out the folklore collection, making this volume more of an introduction to a culture than simply a book of stories. The tales themselves are presented in a sparse form, perfect for the scholar.
dimah90 on LibraryThing 16 days ago
Many thanks to the great author for writing this magnificent book, if I tell you how grateful I am each day for the rest of my life, I'm sure it won't be enough. This book made me cry, laugh, and nostalgia accompanied every single song and tale. while reading it I had the chance to meet my great grandmother, to go back to the days when I was an infant enjoying the magical yet real life of the charming Syria. The great thing about the book is its ability to take you in a quick journey and experience the various charms of Syria in a very short time. I'm so happy to have this magical ticket to Syria, because all I have to do is open the book and I'll simply be there :) thank you so much!!!!
hgold on LibraryThing 16 days ago
I think the idea for this book is fantastic. It looks at all of the different provinces in Syria and offers a recipe, a folk story and a riddle from each place, sometime more. The recipes are a little inconsistent, some of them don't have units of measurement, but the one I tried was really delicious, and I intend to try some more.
nizar.zarka on LibraryThing 16 days ago
I witnessed the birth of "Syrian Folktales" written by my wife Muna Imady from the very beginning. Every where we went and every governorate we travelled to, Muna would interview women from all walks of life and carefully collect their folktales and special dishes. This book was assembled together with love and care which will hopefully be felt by all the readers. Therefore, I salute her great effort in helping to save our oral tradition from getting lost.
Wosret on LibraryThing 16 days ago
While I feel that this book could do with a bit more polish (especially in regards to formatting), I quite enjoyed it. I think it undersells itself with its title, as it contains more than folktales. It's more like a regional tour of Sryia, and some photos would have been a wonderful addition as well.If you enjoy the original Grimm's fairy tales I highly recommend this book.
guyalice on LibraryThing 16 days ago
In her introduction to Syrian Folktales, Muna Imady says that she hopes to preserve for her children the stories she was told by her grandmother when she was young. The result of this is a slim volume of folk knowledge, divided into fourteen sections to represent each province of Syria. Represented here are an overview of the province and its history, regional folktales, recipes, riddles, and sayings from the Prophet.Of course, the elephant in the room is the war in Syria that is taking place as I'm writing this review and at the time the book was published. The diversity and richness of the Syrian culture shown in this book contrast greatly to the horrors that are being reported. I hope Imady and her family are safe and far away from any violence. I also hope that her efforts to collect her country's folklore will be preserved for newer generations, and we can pray that once the war is over, they can enthrall the people of a free Syria.
Bcteagirl on LibraryThing 16 days ago
I received a copy of this book to review through Early Reviewer on Librarything. Knowing sparingly little about Syria, I was very interested in reading traditional folk tales as well as traditional recipes (Hint: There is a lot of lamb!). Given the recent periods of violence in Syria, I applaud the effort into preserving the traditional folk tales of the region. The small book is split into 14 different regions. Each includes a short folktale, a recipe, and usually a riddle etc. The folk tales often center around afreets (male demons) or gouleh (female demons) who tempt people with riches and comfort. The book is a fun light read for those interested in the area, and is also suitable for tweens interested in the area. The recipes for each region overlap, and many involve lamb. However I have marked a few that I want to try myself. This is not an academic study with a lot of background on each area (There is a brief description) but it is very good introduction, and a good way to see if this is an area you want to pursue further. I enjoyed the combination of recipes, riddles and folktales.
angelikat on LibraryThing 16 days ago
Early ReviewerSyrian Folktales by Muna ImadyThis book is an excellent addition to any collector that enjoys regional folktales, myths, and stories. Although it is quite small and collects only a few tales it is very well written and lovingly assembled. The structure of the book is very reminiscent of Lafcadio Hearn¿s In Ghostly Japan, where in addition to the tales themselves Muna Imady includes some tidbits of the culture they came from. In all this is a wonderful little book, my only complaint being that I wished it did not end.
thedharmabum51 on LibraryThing 16 days ago
I read Muna Imady's Syrian Folktales in the midst of a reading spree of Syrian-American literature, so it was nice to have a cultural context in which to place these others works. When beginning Syrian Folktales, it's important to note that Imady does not claim to have published a comprehensive volume of Syrian folk culture, but rather, she has collected a smattering of tales, recipes, riddles, and sayings from the various muhafazas and urges folklorists to take up the work of collecting and cataloging from here. I was really impressed with the variety of texts present here. I studied folklore as an undergraduate, so I was able to identify common folkloric archetypes in many of the tales--always an enjoyable venture! Though I have not yet tested one of the recipes (the Lizagy recipe is my most likely candidate to test), I wished there was a greater variety in types of dishes (many of them seemed to be very similar). The final recipe (consider this a spoiler alert!) for roast camel, though, totally blew my mind. In a way, this recipe made the entire book for me. I didn't "get" many of the riddles, and I would have arranged them differently on the page, perhaps placing the answers upside-down and apart from the riddle text, rather than right after the end of the riddle (the way it's printed there's no guessing for the reader!). My favorite part of Syrian Folktales was the opening, contextualizing narrative that Imady presents. She writes of how her Tete used to tell her stories when she was a child, and for me, this is the most beautiful and most human part of the book--I only wish it were much longer than two pages, or that perhaps a frame narrative could have been erected around the rest of the text. Finally, MSI Press could have used a much more careful eye when editing the body text. I found no fewer than twenty grammatical errors/typos in the book. Admittedly, it made it pretty charming, but as a writer/editor myself, it was also kind of an eyesore.
MrsLee on LibraryThing 16 days ago
A very simple and small book. The author introduces each area of Syria, then gives a sample folk tale or two, some sayings of holy men and a couple of recipes. It highlights how cultures are different, and yet the same. Some of the folk tales left me scratching my head, others were very familiar. As for the recipes, I can't say they will be very useful for me, roasting a camel in my backyard just won't work. They are interesting to read though. This would be a nice supplement to a study of the Middle East or Syria.
reading_fox on LibraryThing 16 days ago
Odd. Not quite what I was expecting. A short collection of twelve tales, recipes, riddles and haldeths from each of the provineces of Syria. Told to the author by the grandmothers and elder women of the villages. The idea of seperating the tales from the provineces could have been implemented a little better - other than a geographical description there is no distinguishing features between them. Likewise there is no relationship between the offered receipes and haldeths to the accompanying tale.The tales themselves are different. Superficially similar to Hans Christain Andersen or 'Tales of Reynard the Fox' (rather than 1001 nights) and the like, with talking animals, kings witches and beautiful princesses. However the morality seems somewhat other. Murder an death are more prevalent, with less consequences. Kings don't always get the beautiful poor daughter, nor does the hardworking man always end up with the rich princess. They are all very very short.The recipes are mostly lamb and bulgar wheat. Beaten or ground to gether and cooked in water or grilled. Some of them sound quite interesting especially the few sugar sweets, but most, like the final one which calls for roasting a camel in the desert sands, are a bit impractical. A few more details would probably have helped those who aren't used to this style of cooking - very much depends on what the target audience for he book will be. Things like composition of spice blends, and sources for the dried black cherry stones.Overal it's an amusing diversiona nd will no doubt spark some to go on and do further research about life in this fascinating part of the world. But for me it was in the end, too short, too triite, and unconnected with my interests.
freckles1987 on LibraryThing 16 days ago
This slim volume provides a brief description of each Muhafazat, or administrative unit, of Syria including size, population, exports/industries, and important archealogical or historical sites. Usually this is very brief, as in a paragraph, but it is a nice overview if you have no basic information about Syria. Each chapter encapsulates a muhafazat and includes one or two short folktales, a riddle or saying, some recipes (lots of Kibbeh!), sometimes a song, and a hadith or two. The folktales are a nice selection, and showcase a variety of themes, plotlines, and mythical creatures -of course the Syrian witch (gouleh) and jinn are the most popular. I enjoyed this collection, though I do wish it had been a bit longer and more "filled out," it was an excellent teaser for Syrian culture and folktales in general.