I am a medievalist who specializes in Near Eastern late antique and medieval tales. The first part of this blog’s name, the reed, comes from the beloved opening lines of Rumi’s thirteenth century masterpiece, the Spiritual Tales (masn’avi ma’navi). In the opening line, a reed has been cut and fashioned into a flute. The forlorn flute beckons the listener to hear its tales of love, (be)longing, and being. I am also a native southern Floridian. The second part of this blog’s name, the weed, comes from the grand battles waged between manicured lawns and wild flowering weeds.
The reed-flute is a story-teller. The weed is one of many forms of being.
This blog is about today’s story-tellers — filmmakers, tv writers, and novelists — who hold up mirrors to our messy selves and map out who we are and where we are going. It also will never miss the opportunity to bring into the conversation ancient and medieval authors who also set out to navigate the vagaries of their worlds.
My name is Ghazzal Dabiri and I am a recovering academic. My tastes are eclectic: My pop-culture interests include sci-fi and fantasy, and of course medieval fantasy, zombie apocalypses, vampires, and John Wick. My late antique and medieval interests center on medieval historiography, epics, and Sufi hagiography. I have had the most fun writing about medieval texts that deal with building communal identities, social ethics, power and authority, and the pitfalls of kingship and politicking in courts, especially if they do it using the supernatural (calling all GoT fans!).