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1000-year-old Muslim joke book from ancient Baghdad found


A 1000-year-old book of revelry and jokes stemming from ancient Baghdad was recently translated.


University of Manchester

A new translation of a book from 11th century Baghdad revealed a lighter side of the glorious Muslim capital.

The book by Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi was translated by University of Manchester scholar Emily Selove who said that the book offers readers something more lighthearted, said Zee News.

Far from an intolerant bastion of fundamentalists, the translator of the ancient text said that 

“This book, which contains flirtation, profanity, and even a little drunkenness, is a lot of fun and offers a rather different perspective to the austere image Islam has from that period,” Emily Selove told Discovery News.

“The reality is that the Baghdad of 1,000 years ago was actually rather Bohemian -- it wasn't perfect by any means -- but not the violent and repressive society you might imagine it was."

In one passage, the writer discusses the best way to crash a party.

Discovery News said the passages says: "Once a party-crasher walked in the house of a man who had invited a gathering of people. “Hey, you!” the man said. “Did I say you could come?” "Did you say I couldn’t come?" the party crasher replied. 

A party-crasher walked into a gathering, and they said to him, “Nobody invited you!” "But if you didn’t invite me and I didn’t come," he replied, "think how lonely that would be!" Everybody laughed at that, and they let him stay."

Anyone who might want to crash a party take note.

The book's title, "The Art of Party Crashing," is published by Syracuse University Press.