News Details

Published by CULTNAT Tales of Zeinab Kutud, a Book on Nubian Culture


In cooperation with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, The BA CULTNAT has published a book titled The Tales of Zeinab Kutud. The book depicts the culture of Nubian society through tales inherited across generations through the years.
Mohamed Farouk, the Center’s director, has stated that the book is narrated by one of the prominent characters who lived a long life in old Nubia, Zeinab Kutud. The tales in the book are no less exciting than the tales she used to narrate. The book includes 15 tales, with colorful illustrations to help create the mesmerizing atmosphere of the tales. The book is considered a great addition to the Arabic library for its heritage texts, the dissemination of which has once been hindered by the language barrier.
Farouk also explains that The Tales of Zeinab Kutud is issued as a collaborative effort between BA and the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. The tales have been compiled in Nubian by the narrator’s grandson, the poet Ibrahim Sha’arawy. Subsequently, the artist Salma Kamal has created different illustrations for the tales.
Farouk has assured that BA, represented by CULTNAT, has implemented an aspiring program to document intangible heritage in all its forms. The Nubian heritage is a unique example of a local culture that represents an individual style of cultural heritage with all its special architecture, stories, biographies, traditions, professions, and folklore.
Farouk indicates that Zeinab Kutud used to narrate fictional stories, whose protagonists are cows, crocodiles, birds, ogres and demons. She used to narrate mostly social tales with battles between good and evil powers, as well as other important aspects from the lives of old Nubians. She used to say that she had inherited her grandmother’s tales, which she used to tell at certain times, sitting in a specific way. It is known that she used to tell her tales from sunset until the late hours of night, not just to children, but also to adults.
It is also known that Kutud memorized some verses of the Holy Quran and mastered ablution and praying. She was an expert on the village’s history, the heroism of its men and the good deeds of its women, which made her a first class author for her society and surrounding environment. Moreover, she knew some folktales, such as the Hilali Biography (Al Sira Al Hilalia), and some stories of genies, ifrits, and old legends. Above all, her prayers were known to be answered at all times.