Every once in a while I take advantage of working at the U and attend a lecture (which I did tonight during my lunch break). Its usually a history or art history talk, or sometimes its a book event that is sponsored by the Libraries.
Tonight Nabil Matar was giving a talk and book signing for his new book “Europe Through Arab Eyes, 1578-1727.” I have read parts of his other books and I have heard him talk at other events at the U, so I was pretty excited to hear him talk about his new book and to get a book signed.
Here is part of the burg from the book jacket:
“Beginning in 1578 with a major Moroccan victory over a Portuguese invading army, Matar surveys this early modern period, in which Europeans and Arabs often shared common political, commercial, and military goals. Matar concentrates on how Muslim captives, ransomers, traders, envoys, travelers, and rulers pursued those goals while transmitting to the nonprint cultures of North Africa their knowledge of the peoples and societies of Spain, France, Britain, Holland, Italy, and Malta.
From the first non-European description of Queen Elizabeth I to early accounts of Florence and Pisa in Arabic, from Tunisian descriptions of the Morisco expulsion in 1609 to the letters of a Moroccan Armenian ambassador in London, the translations of the book’s second half draw on the popular and elite sources that were available to Arabs in the early modern period. Letters from male and female captives in Europe, chronicles of European naval attacks and the taqayid (newspaper) reports on Muslim resistance, and descriptions of opera and quinine appear here in English for the first time…”
Another fun part about going to tonight’s talk was that when I went to pay, the bookstore clerk told me to pick a rose (from a vase filled with fake roses). So I picked and the rose had a yellow band on it. The bookstore was having some Valentines Day sale and whatever color band your rose had on, that was the discount you received. Yellow signified 40% off! So I ended up getting a great book for a great price! Plus a fake white rose.