Libyan Fairytales | خراريف ليبية

Perhaps the only such collection to be published in Libya in recent years, خراريف ليبية (Libyan Fairytales) is an anthology of fairytales collected in the Jabal Akhdar region of eastern Libya by the folklorist and short-story writer Ahmad Yusuf ‘Agila.

The book presents thirty-four fairytales, many of which— such as ام بسيسي or نقارش or عويشة بنت السلطان—are well-known to Libyans. ‘Agila also includes a lexicon of the more unusual words used in the tales; some are truly uncommon, while some (such as شرز for سرج ‘saddle’) are simply the local pronunciation of a common word.

Many younger-generation Libyans, or those who grew up in the diaspora, may not have heard many fairytales as children. This book is particularly useful for those groups, who may want to familiarize themselves with the tales their parents grew up hearing but no longer remember. Also, because ‘Agila attempts to render the eastern Libyan dialect as accurately as possible, the tales can be read aloud to friends and family members—thus keeping at least some Libyan fairytales alive.

‘Agila’s introduction to the book, as well as samples of some of the fairytales can be found at this link.

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