26 Good Arabs?

Top 5 Mile Markers

Mile 1 Nizar Qabbani, from Syria, arguably the greatest Arab poet of the Twentieth century; his erotic verses were banned, while his nationalist poems remain canonical. What better than a poem to start the race?

Mile 6 Naguib Mahfouz, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, who frequently walked more than 6-miles a day around his native Cairo, in search of stories. 

Mile 13 Ibn Khaldun, the first social scientist and historical theorist, from Tunis, midway across North Africa and midway through the marathon.

Mile 20 Al-Khwarizmi (c.780-c.850), the inventor of Algebra, remembered as I calculate my average minutes per mile.

Mile 26 Ibn Battuta (1304-1364), from Morocco, world’s greatest traveller to mark the end of my marathon journey.

To read all 26 names, click here

“26 Good Arabs?”

Running from Ignorance, towards Cultural Understanding

“26 Good Arabs?” No! There are many, many more than that.

Eamonn has long been interested in running a marathon. Edinburgh 2011 is his first. In mentally preparing to cover the 26 miles, Eamonn decided to dedicate each mile to a different writer from the Arabic tradition.

Each of the selected names has an important place in the world, although most remain unknown in the West. This is a shame. Increased knowledge and understanding is the best way to bridge the gap between cultures.   

In short (and in shorts!), by doing the Edinburgh Marathon Eamonn is Running from Ignorance, towards Understanding.

Project in Development: Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Running for cultural understanding has been inspired by Eamonn’s work in progress, “Arabic Treasures” a body of work featuring 52 representative writers - ancient and modern - from across the Arab World.

“Arabic Treasures” brings together some of the most important, diverse and surprising works ever produced in Arabic through the centuries, from pre-Islamic poetry to Twentieth century song lyrics.

Brought together for the first time, each of the selections in “Arabic Treasures” is presented in the original Arabic with new and exclusive English translations on the facing page.

In this way, readers of English and Arabic - and those learning both languages - can enjoy a cornucopia of works from the Arabic literary tradition, including poetry, literature, history, travellers’ tales, religion, philosophy and science.

“Arabic Treasures” is more than just a book. By giving English speakers the opportunity to read Arabic works for themselves Eamonn is making a small step towards bridging the dangerous gap that often exists between our cultures.

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