We went to a “storytelling and art” workshop at Sherouk Books yesterday (and ran smack into the Korba festival, which I had thought had been re-routed to the Baron’s Palace). Anyhow, there was also a puppet show at the festival, so who can complain about that?
The gentleman pictured was a wonderful storyteller, but of course he didn’t read from the book—he glanced at the text, showed the children the pictures, and told a story in charming, lively Egyptian Arabic.
Recently, more people have been asking me: “Why don’t publishers bring out any books in 3ameya Egyptian?” And—while I understand that fos’ha is a beautiful language, and that it’s the language of the Qur’an, and that it’s the language of great literature, the language that glues the Arab world together—I ultimately don’t have a good answer, or at least an answer that satisfies anyone who’s asked.
Some people have told me: It doesn’t matter, fos’ha or 3ameya, what matters is quality of the books. But is that true?
I also picked up a few wonderful books for the boys, including السمكة الملونة هربت, a lovely book translated from the Japanese about an escape-artist fish. The two-year-old loved it, and the six (and three quarters year old) also found the hiding fish fun.
However, I did not get a copy of سلمى وليلي or even browse it, because it was wrapped in plastic. I hate plastic. I hate books encased in plastic. I prefer dusty books.
I am happy to buy dusty books if it rescues the environment from even a little more plastic.