Abu Dhabi is famous for its passion for saker falcons. Poems composed about hunting with falcons are also very popular. This lecture takes as its starting point a much-loved poem by Sheikh Zayed about hunting with a young falcon and offers a survey of Arabic hunting poetry from the Abbasid era. It presents an overview of the varieties of hunting practiced by the Abbasids, outlines the range of animals encountered in the poems, and considers why poetry is such an apt medium for expressing the unique bond that so often exists between man and animal. The lecture also includes the recitation of a number of hunting poems in Arabic and English translation, and suggestions on some parallels with Sheikh Zayed's poem from the classical period.

image: Copyright Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford (2004.130.22143.1)

Simultaneous Arabic translation will be provided

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