In line with the efforts of the Qatari Forum for Authors (QFA) to highlight the Arab literary heritage and benefit from it in enriching the linguistic knowledge of young writers, a new cultural initiative was launched during the holy month of Ramadan entitled “Visit Our Literary Heritage Through a Book” in cooperation with Dar Al-Sharq.

During the first session of the initiative, Dr. Yahya Al-Mahdi, Professor of Arabic language at Qatar University, spoke about the richness of Arab literary history, as it involves many books that have collectively formed a literary and cultural reserve, have always been important references of immense help to researchers and academics, and have been a source of inspiration at the level of development of the Arabic language and culture alike.

The theme of the first session examined the book of Al-Bukhala’ by Al-Jahidh, where Dr. Yahya Al-Mahdi explained the distinctiveness of this book with its rich content that is full of wisdom, moral guidance, interesting themes, and knowledge usefulness, which makes the book a reference for researchers and readers, pointing out that the book presents varied manifestations of humor, laughter and ridicule by the author’s satirical style for different purposes, the most important of which is social criticism; as the sarcastic depiction of social deviations and behaviors and inherited values that were affected by the changes of economic reality at that time. This is in addition to encouraging the reader to adopt the behavior of generosity, which is an authentic Arab value and habit. The book also aims to achieve the recombination of the system of values and standards in a way that responds to the elements of Arab customs. Finally, sarcasm, along with its critical purposes, remains a witty and wonderful way of entertaining the recipient and targeting the aesthetics of the Arabic language.

Dr. Al-Mahdi, finally, explained that Al-Jahidh is one of the great literary scholars who wrote poetry with Al-Asma’i and Abu Zeid Al-Ansari, gained his knowledge in grammar from Abu Al-Hassan Al-Akhfash, and learned the Islamic scholastic theology from Ibrahim Al-Nitham. He concluded that Al-Jahedh enjoyed a nice character and friendly behavior with a talent to tell sarcastic jokes and wit, which made people love to sit with him to listen and enjoy his clever talk and magnificent memorization talent.