MOHA Research Center, on the occasion of International Day for Tolerance, organizes two interactive fairytale narrations and artistic activities, designed and planned by MOHA’s educational department, for elementary school children.
The topic of these interactive visit projects is the tales of Sinbad the Sailor, specifically his first, second and third voyages.
After dissipating the wealth left to him by his father, Sinbad goes to sea to repair his fortune. He sets ashore on what appears to be an island, but this island proves to be a gigantic sleeping whale on which trees have taken root ever since the world was young. Awakened by a fire kindled by the sailors, the whale dives into the depths, the ship departs without Sinbad, and Sinbad is saved by the chance of a passing wooden trough sent by the grace of Allah. He is washed ashore on a densely wooded island. While exploring the deserted island he comes across one of the king’s grooms. When Sinbad helps save the King’s mare from being drowned by a sea horse, a supernatural horse that lives underwater, the groom brings Sinbad to the king. The king befriends Sinbad and so he rises in the king’s favour and becomes a trusted courtier. One day, the very ship on which Sinbad set sail docks at the island, and he reclaims his goods (still in the ship’s hold). Sinbad gives the king his goods and in return the king gives him rich presents. Sinbad sells these presents for a great profit. Sinbad returns to Baghdad where he resumes a life of ease and pleasure. With the ending of the tale, Sinbad the sailor makes Sinbad the porter a gift of a hundred gold pieces, and bids him return the next day to hear more about his adventures.
On the second day of Sinbad’s tale-telling, Sinbad the sailor tells how he grew restless of his life of leisure, and set to sea again, “possessed with the thought of traveling about the world of men and seeing their cities and islands.” Accidentally, abandoned by his shipmates again, he finds himself stranded in an island which contains roc eggs. He attaches himself to a roc and is transported to a valley of giant snakes which can swallow elephants. The floor of the valley is carpeted with diamonds, and merchants harvest these by throwing huge chunks of meat into the valley: the birds carry the meat back to their nests, and the men drive the birds away and collect the diamonds stuck to the meat. The wily Sinbad straps one of the pieces of meat to his back and is carried back to the nest along with a large sack full of precious gems. Rescued from the nest by the merchants, he returns to Baghdad with a fortune in diamonds, seeing many marvels along the way.
Restless for travel and adventure, Sinbad sets sail again from Basra. But by ill chance he and his companions are cast up on an island where they are captured by “a huge creature in the likeness of a man, black of colour, …with eyes like coals of fire and large canine teeth like boar’s tusks and a vast big gape like the mouth of a well. Moreover, he had long loose lips like camel’s, hanging down upon his breast, and ears like two Jarms falling over his shoulder-blades, and the nails of his hands were like the claws of a lion.” This monster begins eating the crew, beginning with the Reis (captain), who is the fattest. Sinbad hatches a plan to blind the beast with the two red-hot iron spits with which the monster has been kebabing and roasting the ship’s company. He and the remaining men escape on a raft they constructed the day before. However, the Giant’s mate hits most of the escaping men with rocks and they are killed. After further adventures (including a gigantic python from which Sinbad escapes using his quick wits), he returns to Baghdad, wealthier than ever.