Goha the Wise Fool

by Denys Johnson-Davies, Hag Hamdy, and Mohamed Fattouh

Across the Middle East, stories are told about Goha, a little man who is sometimes... read more

Across the Middle East, stories are told about Goha, a little man who is sometimes foolish, sometimes wise, sometimes a trickster. They have been passed down for centuries. Writer and translator Denys Johnson-Davies retells fifteen classic Goha stories in this witty, amusing collection. When a friend sees Goha riding his donkey while carrying a basket laden with fruit on his shoulders, he asks why Goha does not rest the basket in front of him on the donkey. “Isn’t it enough that the poor animal is carrying me?” Goha replies. “The least I can do is to carry the basket.” Often Goha’s comments convey truths about living a good and honest life. At other times he uses humor and humility to get the best of those who would trick him or do him wrong. The illustrations for this delightful, handsome volume are hand-sewn tapestries drawn by Ham Hamdy Mohamed Fattouh and sewn by his nephew, Hany El Saed Ahmed. Both are tentmakers in Cairo’s Old Islamic Quarter. Their work captures both Goha’s innocence and also his droll sense of humor. (Ages 8–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2006

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