Magician And Mystic – May 29 at La Fontaine

Magician&Mystic May 29 La Fontaine

La Fontaine’s public love affair with Ibn-Battuta‘s travel, Sufi mysticism, and ancient lands continues.  May 29 under the stars explores modern Turkey and India with an eye to the past.

Still can’t find La Fontaine?  Here’s a link to a map.

 

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Speaking of Tim Mackintosh-Smith

Fatima Ali Raza, the owner of La Fontaine Center for Contemporary Art, invited me for dinner.  As we ate under the moon, she asked me,

“You know Ibn Battuta don’t you,” she began.  Her eyes sparkled.

Ibn Battuta, Ibn Battutua, the name echoed in my brain.  However, no thoughts came to mind.

“No,” I admitted.

“Ibn Battuta was an Arab explorer.  He traveled from Tangier to China and covered more parts of the world than Marco Polo.  So many people do not know who he is.  And do you know who I have coming to La Fontaine?”

“Ibn Battuta’s ghost?”

She paused, “Tim Mackintosh-Smith, the expert on Ibn Battuta.”

Now it registered.

At the 2011 Dubai Literary Festival, my friends, Deborah and Maeve, went to his lecture.  The British Mackintosh-Smith is an Arabist living in Yemen.  He is the go-to man for anything about Yemen – and Ibn Battuta.

Mackintosh-Smith literally re-traced Ibn Battuta’s footsteps around the world.  Then he condensed the 14th century traveler’s thirty years of travel into a trilogy.  Travels with a Tangerine, the first in the series, made it to the best sellers list.

“For three years I have been inviting Mackintosh-Smith to Bahrain.  And he finally accepted.  He will be coming in November.  We are planning to offer several workshops over the three days he is here, both in Arabic and English,” Fatima announced triumphantly.

“That’s fantastic,” I said.  “Now I know what to suggest to my book club.”

“But don’t read all of his books.  I am ordering some for the event.”

I decided to see how well-known Ibn Battuta was.  I posed the question to Mojo who corrects my American history mistakes.

“If I say Ibn Battuta what comes to your mind?” I asked him.

“The Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai.”

“Have I got a gift for you.”

Get ready for this November event at La Fontaine by reading Tim Mackintosh-Smith’s Travels with a Tangerine.

La Fontaine Center for Contemporary Art is featured in The Best of Bahrain vol. 2 which is being launched this Saturday, September 15th, 2012.

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