Arabic Literature

In the areas of science and philosophy, many would agree that the Arabian culture has made significant contributions, however they have given more to literature. The Arabian influences can be found in many books. Arguably the oldest form of Arabian literature is the Qasida, which is a series of lyrical poems. They primarily express noble feelings. Early poems focused on family, self, and the tribe.

Early on, Arabic Literature Declined

In Arabian literature many of the poets spent time writing about their perceptions of the desert. In the beginning, these poems were passed to each generation verbally. The Prophet Muhammad of the 7th century wasn't interested in poetry. Over time, the rise of Islam took place and Arabic poetry declined. It was replaced with the study of the Koran. This is a sacred book of the Arabic culture.

Between the 8th & 9th Centuries, literature once again gained in popularity in the Arabic-Persian culture in Baghdad. Young poets were able to establish a new poetry style. It was more formal, but also exaggerated. During the 9th century, poetry began once again to decline.

Arabic Literature Continues to be Dismissed

It wasn't until the 12th century that adventure and fantasy took root with tales such as Arabian Nights. True Arabian scholars did not consider these stories to possess any great literary value. When the Ottoman Turks took over, the Arabic culture experienced their third downfall as Arabic literature continues to be overlooked.

In the latter of the 18th century, countries like Egypt with growing western influences began to once again take notice of Arabic Literature. This continued thanks to literature exchanges between Europe. Also the addition of printing presses and new collages in Syria and Lebanon.

Since that time, the drama and the novel have been adopted and well developed by the Egyptian and Syrian cultures. Since its birth, the Arabic culture has come a very long way. Many scholars did not give them proper credit for their many contributions through the years. Without their early influences, the Western world would not have the ability to study and learn about their culture today. While Western models for other forms of writing had much owed to them, the classical Arabic literature had roots with the new verse forms, short story, and the essay.

With the Arabic press emerging, writing became a realistic livelihood. Writers were forced to abandon their original and ornate styles of the past to move on to a more direct and simpler style of writing that would be popular with the public.

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