- Oct 2010
It is funny that you mention the movie, I found it interesting that the Hollywood crowd talks about cultural appropriation/respect when they mix North African, Egyptian, Lavantine, Iraqi, and Persian into one look alike brown people (which a lot of us are not really but that is a much different story, do not tell a particular Michigan congress-woman about it though). The name alaa-aldin does not show up in Arabic names and literature, do not quote me on this but I always have noticed that people of non-Arabic descent used that (aldin) in the end of their name during the early days/centuries of Islam.Apparently he was costumed as Aladdin or some such.... Aladdin is currently presumed to be from the M/E (probably Baghdad or perhaps Aleppo) thanks mostly to Disney, and I would wager you did not feel insulted by his costume... However I've been reading up on the Aladdin tale and it seems originally ole Aladdin was from a city in China.... So now the chinese community can perhaps chime in and pretent to be offendeed
Although of course, Koreans, Japanese and Chinese dont seem to qualify for all this offending stuff
The Origin Story Of
Aladdin is one of the best known stories in Scheherazade's oeuvre — but it wasn't there originally. Aladdin, along with Ali Baba, is one of One Thousand and One Night's "orphan tales." They weren't a part of the initial Arabic text. Rather, they were added to a 1712 edition by the French translator Antoine Galland. Galland claimed he got the story from a Syrian man, Hanna Diyab.
Diyab's identity remained mysterious until 1993, when Diyab's memoirs were discovered in the Vatican library. According to cultural historian Arafat Razzaque, Diyab's rags-to-riches story actually may have resembled Aladdin's. Like Aladdin, Diyab wanted to own a market stall; like Aladdin, he longed to be a part of the upper echelons of society. And it happened for him. After meeting French explorer Paul Lucas, the young Diyab was pulled along on Lucas' quest for treasure (just like Aladdin was). Eventually, he ended up in France, where he met Galland and told him the "story of the lamp."
The original Aladdin is surprisingly different from the Disney version we know today. For one, it's set in China. "In early Arabic usage, China was often just a symbol for a faraway land, as in the famous saying attributed to the Prophet: 'Seek knowledge even as far as China.' It is in this sense of an abstract, exotic place that China tends to appear in the Nights," Razzaque wrote in an article for Ajam Media Collection.
In early European adaptations of the story, Aladdin was depicted as being Chinese. Victorian illustrations gave Aladdin the long braided queue typical of the the Manchurian dynasty; British stage productions set the play in China. Disney, however, modeled its Aladdin from the movie The Thief of Baghdad (1940) and transplanted the story to a fictional Middle Eastern city.
I am not even sure why they use "Arabian" nights in the title.
I am thinking the above excerpt (about Galland ) you mention involves the stories about sinbad (Sindhi-Abad) as well.