Publishing House: Adab book

Publication Year: 2021

Genre: Folklore Studies,Oral History

Number of Pages: 276

“Ahzaiya,” authored by Samir Al-Dhamer, masterfully preserves the oral storytelling heritage of the Al-Ahsa region. This book, rich in traditional narratives or “Hazawi,” draws from a variety of storytellers. It combines these stories with poetry, thereby enriching Saudi Arabia’s folk literature. Al-Dhamer innovatively includes digital codes in the book, providing access to related audio and video on his YouTube channel, thus enhancing the reader’s experience by integrating multiple senses.

The full title, “Ahzaiya: Tales Told by Aisha Bint Saleh Al-Farhan to Her Grandson Samir Al-Dhamer and a Dictionary of Folk Narrators and Narratives,” opens with Al-Dhamer defining “Hazaiya.” In Al-Ahsa and the Arabian Gulf, “Hazaiya” represents folktales and chats. Al-Dhamer outlines folk literature’s general traits and the specific elements of his grandmother Aisha Al-Farhan’s Hazawi. In the introduction, he talks about his bond with his grandmother and other storytellers. He emphasizes the importance of fairy tales, their preservation, and study. Al-Dhamer also explains his systematic method for gathering and arranging these stories. He ensures they retain their original dialect.

The book is divided into two parts. The first focuses on Aisha Al-Farhan’s tales, split into “Hazawi and Folk Stories,” containing seven fairy tales in their native dialect, and “Vocabulary, Chants, and Oral Expressions,” featuring a variety of folk texts, from proverbs to fairy tales. The second part, “A Dictionary of Folk Narrators and Narratives,” combines narrators’ stories and lives, predominantly from Al-Ahsa. Al-Dhamer introduces their storytelling styles and oral narrative techniques.

Dr. Samir Al-Dhamer further elevates “Ahzaiya” with strategically placed barcodes, allowing readers to hear the stories from the narrators themselves. This unique feature, along with the detailed content, makes “Ahzaiya” an exceptional work, deserving of praise and recognition. It stands as an invaluable tool for anyone interested in the folk heritage of Saudi Arabia.

Read More About Samir Al-Dhamer

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