The Jewel and the Ember: Love Stories of the Ancient Middle East
A compelling collection of enlightening, joyful, painful, funny and heartrending love stories from throughout the ancient Middle East. These ten wonderful tales are not found in the familiar Arabian Nights, but are drawn from sources such as Zoroastrian Persia, the Turkish Oghuz, from folklore still told in Afghanistan and from epics and myths of the Bedouin peoples of Arabia. More
The human soul, East and West, is eternally engaged in the search for enduring love. The Jewel and The Ember: Love Stories of the Ancient Middle East is a collection of ten compelling, enlightening, sometimes joyful, sometimes painful, often funny and always heartrending love stories that are not found in familiar sources, but are drawn from Zoroastrian Persia, the Turkish Oghuz, from folklore still told in Afghanistan and from epics and myths of the Bedouin peoples of Arabia.
This is the first time these stories have been made available and accessible in one volume in English. They offer an alternative to the Arabian Nights with tales that are relatively unknown in the West. In haunting, entertaining, richly embroidered prose, The Jewel and the Ember speaks of desire, sensuality and passion beyond dogmas and stereotypes.
In heroines such as Shirin, Vis or Saljan, readers will meet women who are far more than obnoxious sexual objects and shrouded creatures at the mercy of male oppressors. The women featured in this volume can be eloquent, wise and educated -- and good sportswomen and warriors to boot. In Majnun, Miqdad or Ramin, readers will discover men who are vulnerable, full participants in the sufferings, joys, foibles and complexities common to all lovers. These timeless, engrossing stories will intrigue readers of all ages, from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. They revive and give new breath to narratives that have been ignored, forgotten or neglected. They illustrate love’s universal values, which link opposing cultures and ideals, making our differences irrelevant and teaching the heart to sing.