Today I want to tell you about a place called Remal Village, which is a collection of sand sculptures depicting the stories from Arabian Nights. I have been to this beautiful place and it is amazing!
The main story behind Arabian Nights (or 1000 Nights and a Night), is that a storyteller named Scheherazade had to tell her new husband, a Persian king, a new tale every night to prevent him from killing her. (You can read more about this interesting story on Wikipedia.) Some of the stories that Scheherazade told were Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, and The Tale of the Ensorcelled Prince. I want to tell you some of these stories that Scheherazade once told.
The first story that I am going to tell you is Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp…
Once there lived a young boy named Aladdin who was a lazy child who would play on the street with other children. He lived with both his mother and his father. Aladdin’s father who was a tailor was ashamed of his son’s laziness. One day, Aladdin’s father died; Aladdin and his mother where very sad because of father’s death, but where surprised and happy to meat his father’s brother for the first time. Aladdin’s uncle was very kind, or so they thought. One day Aladdin and his uncle set off onto a journey to a place on the ground.
Once they were done traveling, they came to the piece of ground and the uncle said to Aladdin that under that piece of ground was treasure. All Aladdin had to do to retrieve it was first take his ring and say the names of his father and of his grandfather, and then the ground would open and there would be a staircase leading down to where Aladdin needed to go. Once he was all the way down, there would be three halls and he could go through any of them, he just had to touch nothing as he was passing through, or it would be instant death for him. Once he was past the three halls, there would be a lamp on a stand that Aladdin would have to take before leaving.
Aladdin quickly took his uncle’s ring from his finger and said the names of his father and grandfather. Then as his uncle said would happen, the ground shook and opened to reveal a staircase. Aladdin quickly ran down the staircase and came to the three halls that his uncle said would be there.
Aladdin walked through one of the hallways and then found himself in the room with the lamp. He slowly approached the stand with the lamp and then retrieved the lamp; right after he did, his uncle yelled down into the tunnel “Do you have the lamp yet?” “Yes,” Aladdin yelled back. His uncle told Aladdin to give him the lamp; Aladdin said that he would give him the lamp once he was out of the tunnel. The uncle again ordered Aladdin to give him the lamp immediately, and Aladdin again answered that he would give the lamp to his uncle once he was out of the tunnel. The uncle replied “Fine,” and shut he the door at the opening of the tunnel and left.
Aladdin was stuck alone inside the tunnel for days crying for help, and then he finally remembered that he had forgotten to give the ring back to his uncle once he was done using it. He rubbed the ring and a hideous genie appeared in front of him and said in a deep and thundering voice “Your wish is my command.” Aladdin said “I wish that you would get me out of this tunnel and return me home.” The next thing Aladdin knew, he was back safe and sound in his house with his mother.
He then went out to his mother and said, “I am hungry; I need food to eat.” His mother replied, “I do not have anything but this cotton that I have spun to sell at the market.”
Then Aladdin got an idea. He went into his room and rubbed the lamp once again, and yet again the same genie appeared in front of him. The genie asked Aladdin “What is thy will?”, and Aladdin said, “I am hungry; bring me food.” The genie left in a flash and was suddenly back with big silver and golden trays and bowls of food, and glasses filled with rich types of wine. Aladdin quickly called his mother in and asked her to sit down and join him for his feast. She did, but was astonished and asked where Aladdin got all of this wonderful food. Aladdin pulled out the lamp and showed it to her and said, “I got it from the genie inside this lamp.” His mother quickly set down the lamp and begged Aladdin to sell the lamp at the market and told him that she did not want him using or talking to devils. But Aladdin refused and put the lamp away.
The next day, the sultan told everyone in the kingdom to shut their doors and shutters because the princess would be coming out to take a bath that day and should not be seen by anyone. However, Aladdin wanted to see the princess because he never had before, so he went to where the princess’ bath was going to take place and hid behind the door. He looked through a crack inside the door and saw that the princess was beautiful. He instantly fell in love with her and wanted to ask for her hand in marriage.
The next day, Aladdin told his mother that he had fallen in love with the princess. His mother just laughed at him and thought that he had absolutely no chance with the princess. Aladdin asked his mother to go ask for the princess’ hand for him that morning; right before she was about to leave, Aladdin asked his mother to stop, so she did. Aladdin gave her a sack of fruit that he had collected in the tunnel where he had collected the lamp. Aladdin told her to give the fruit to the sultan when she spoke to him, and she said that she would.
When she got there, she bowed at the throne that the sultan was sitting on while talking to his royal vizier. Aladdin’s mother stayed bowing there with the napkin of fruit that Aladdin had collected in the tunnel still in her hand. The sultan paid no attention to her though. Aladdin’s mother went for six days doing the same exact thing each time with the same exact fruit that Aladdin had collected in the cave. Finally on the sixth day, the sultan said to his royal vizier “I see this same exact women each day and each day she is holding the same exact napkin. The next time she comes let her speak.” The royal vizier nodded.
The next time Aladdin’s mother came the sultan asked her to stand, and she did as she was told. Then the sultan said, “Say what you have come to say, good woman,” and so she told him that Aladdin had fallen in love with the princess and wanted to ask for her hand. Then she told him to forgive her and her son Aladdin. The sultan finally asked Aladdin’s mother to show him what she had in her napkin in her hands. Aladdin’s mother opened the napkin and showed sultan the fruit that looked like diamonds that where inside of the napkin she held. Sultan and his royal vizier where in awe of the fruit that she gave to them. The sultain said to his royal vizier who wanted the princess to marry his own son “Should I allow the princess to marry this women’s son?” The vizier answered, “Wait three months before allowing the princess to marry her son,” which would give the vizier’s son plenty of time to marry the princess. The sultan agreed and said to Aladdin’s mother “Good women wait three months before your son takes my daughter’s hand.”
She agreed to this and then ran home to tell Aladdin the great news about him and the princess’ marriage that was only in three months. Aladdin was even more excited to hear the news than his mother was. Aladdin was so excited about getting his new bride and could not wait, and the months that he had to wait for her seemed as if they were only a day.
Aladdin came out into the streets and there was music and food and celebration; he asked one person why that was and the person replied because it is the night that the princess and the vizier’s son are getting married. Aladdin felt like he just had been killed when he heard this news and ran home and told his mother the news of the marriage.
Aladdin’s mother pitied him and did not know what to do. Two nights of the vizier’s son and the princess’ marriage passed and Aladdin’s mother still had no clue of what would be able to help her son; however, Aladdin did know what would help him and so he did it that very night.
He took out his magic lamp that he had collected from the tunnel, rubbed it, and the genie popped out and bowed while saying “Your wish is my command.” Aladdin told him for three nights in a row take the bed that the princess and the vizier’s son sleep in and bring it here; then throw the vizier’s son out of the bed each night and leave him out in the cold, but keep the princess with me and I shall sleep with her instead. So the genie did as he was told for three nights in a row and by the third morning they were both shaking with fear and sultan said to his daughter, “Tell me what is wrong or I shall cut off your head.” The princess told him what had happened repeatedly for those three nights and sultan said that it was probably just a bad dream. The vizier’s son and the princess where no longer married the next day and all the celebrations stopped.
The next day, Aladdin’s mother went back to sultan’s castle and reminded him of his promise that he had made to her and her son Aladdin. He then said “Good women I am a man of my word so I will let your son marry my daughter, but first he must come to me while riding on a horse. In front of him will be black men and then leading them will be white men.”
So Aladdin’s mother went home and told Aladdin what sultan had said and asked how he would get it and if the princess was really worth going through all of this for. Aladdin replied that he could get all of those things easily from the genie and that he would do one thousand times more than he was asked to do to get the princess’s hand. Aladdin went to the sultan’s castle with all the things that sultan had requested. When the sultan saw this, he got down from his throne and embraced Aladdin. The next day Aladdin and the princess where married and they loved each other very, very much. They lived together in a castle that Aladdin requested the genie build for them.
The uncle that had left Aladdin in the tunnel still remembered Aladdin and still wanted the lamp. One day while Aladdin was out hunting, the evil uncle came disguised as a poor old man who was trading old lamps for new ones, so the servant in the castle told the princess that there was an old lamp on her windowsill. The princess asked the servant to give him the old lamp because they would never use it anyway.
Then the uncle rubbed the lamp and the genie appeared and asked “What is your desire?” The uncle said that he wanted Aladdin’s castle transported to Africa, so the genie brought the castle and the evil uncle to Africa where the uncle who was a magician lived.
The sultan looked from his window to see that the castle that one stood there had vanished, so he called his servant and said where Aladdin’s castle went. The servant replied, “I do not know really it seems to have just vanished.”
Then the sultan sent for Aladdin to come so that he could chop off Aladdin’s head because his daughter was in the castle that had vanished. Luckily, the people loved Aladdin so they jumped in to save him and the sultan told the person that was going to chop off Aladdin’s head to wait because there were just too many people who were going to attack if they cut off Aladdin’s head. So when the man stopped, Aladdin asked why they wanted to chop off his head and the sultan said, “Because your castle has vanished with my daughter!” and he then pushed Aladdin up to the window to see nothing but the place where his castle had once stood. Aladdin said that he was just as confused as the sultan was, and that last time he saw his castle it was right there. Aladdin said, “I will find your daughter and bring her back to you, I promise, just give me forty days please.” The sultan agreed to this, but said he would kill Aladdin if he failed his mission.
Aladdin walked for three days looking for the princess, but did not find her. He eventually went to the side of a lake and was about to throw himself in when he remembered that he had the ring with the genie in it also. The genie came out of the ring and said “Your wish?” Aladdin said, “I wish you would take me to where the princess and my castle are.”
The genie took him to Africa and there he found himself dangling from the castle window; the servant who was dressing the princess told her that Aladdin was hanging from the window. When the princess heard this, she ran to her window and pulled Aladdin up. She asked how he had found her and explained everything that had happened. Aladdin asked her, “Where is the lamp that I left on your windowsill?”
The princess told Aladdin that she had traded the old lamp with an old man who was trading new lamps for old ones. Then Aladdin told her the powers that lamp possessed; the princess said that the old man who has it is walking around in the castle with the lamp in his pocket. The princess also told Aladdin that the old man told her that Aladdin was dead and that he wanted her to marry him now. Aladdin told the princess to put on the most beautiful dress that she owned and to act like she had now fallen for the uncle and also to act like she never even met Aladdin. Aladdin told her to wait before going downstairs to the magician because he was going to get something for her to put into his drink. Aladdin then got a powder at a market for the princess to put into the evil uncle’s drink.
The princess went down and told the uncle that she had realized that her tears would not bring Aladdin back to her. So they sat down at the dinner table together and the princess said that she was tired of the wines of China and would like to taste the wine of Africa. So the uncle quickly got the wine and meanwhile the princess put the powder into her cup. Then the uncle came back up and poured her cup first and then his own. Before they drank, the princess said let us switch cups as a symbol of our love; they did and then they drank. A minute later, the evil uncle fell back, lifeless. Aladdin came down when he heard the news and took the lamp from the uncle’s pocket and then wished the castle back to the spot where it was built.
When they returned, the sultan was overjoyed and heard the whole story of what had happened to them that day. The sultan was surprised, but happy to have his daughter and his son-in-law back.
They now thought for sure that they were going to live happily ever after, but the uncle had a brother who wanted revenge for his brother. He went to a holy woman and asked if he could talk with her; he did, and then he killed her and disguised himself as a holy woman and went to where Aladdin and the princess lived. Still pretending to be a holy woman, he went to Aladdin’s castle and talked to the princess, telling her that her castle was beautiful, but it would look even more beautiful with a hanging roc’s egg. The princess thanked him for his advice and then when Aladdin was back from hunting the princess asked Aladdin if he could hang a roc’s egg in the dome; Aladdin agreed to the request.
Aladdin rubbed the lamp and the genie emerged from the lamp and said, “Whatever you want.” Aladdin said, “I wish for you to hang a roc’s egg.” “WRETCH!” the genie yelled. “After all I have done for you, you ask me to hang my master? But I do not blame you I blame the man who is talking with your wife right now who is disguised as a holy woman because he is the one who has put the idea into her head.” So once Aladdin heard this he ran out to the man who had put the idea into the princess’s head and killed the man. His wife screamed, “Aladdin you just killed a holy woman!” “No,” said Aladdin, “I have killed a bad man.” And Aladdin explained to the princess all of the things that the genie had told him.
After that Aladdin and the princess finally lived happily ever after!
Here are a few of my photos of Remal Village…
I hope that you enjoyed this wonderful story and my photos of Remal Village. I hope you will come back because I will be sharing more of the stories from Arabian Nights. Thank you for reading and check back soon! 🙂
Please note that the story of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp was adapted from Page by Page Books.