Readings — From the January 2013 issue

Operation Dessert Storm

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From source material quoted by al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, an eleventh-century scholar, in his humorous survey of Islamic scholarship concerning uninvited guests. Selections from the Art of Party-Crashing in Medieval Iraq, abridged and translated from the Arabic by Emily Selove, was recently published by Syracuse University Press.

The tufayli enters a party uninvited. The word is derived from the root tafala, which refers to the encroaching darkness of nighttime on the day.

Someone called a tufayli goes to banquets uninvited. They are named after Tufayl, a man from Kufa of the Banu Ghatafan, who was called “Tufayl of the grooms and brides.”

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