The first episode, “Origins,” is set in Baghdad in 1258, when the Islamic world’s most cherished library was destroyed by descendants of Genghis Kahn. In “Origins,” scholars manage to preserve the wisdom of the world’s great books in 99 stones. That there are 99 of them is, of course, no accident; in Islamic tradition, Allah is said to have 99 names, or virtues. Click here for the full story.
This series is interesting to think about in relation to last year’s Open Gates lecture series, where we looked at Western media depictions of Islam and the Middle East (click here ). The series culminated with a night of student presentations on Hollywood images re: the Middle East (click here). For more on this topic, see my article called “Reversing the “Disneyfication” Process: Using Disney Films to Debunk Stereotypes and Oversimplification In Middle and High School Social Science Courses,” World History Connected, Oct 2007 (click here).