Shaykh Zubayr

Shaykh Zubayr
I’ve been trying hard to write a coherent blog post about this. Sadly for me, I can’t find the information I want on the Internet. A while back I heard that there were proponents of the notion that Shakespeare was a displaced Arab named shaykh Zubayr.
I tried to track it down on the Internet and found out this much:
A nineteenth century writer, Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq (1804-1888), wrote a book or an article or somehow advanced the idea that William Shakespeare was a really an Arab, shaykh Zubayr.
The Iraqi scholar Safa’ Khulusi (1917-1995) agreed.
The Egyptian scholar Ibrahim Hamadah went to the trouble to write a book refuting the idea.
Current Libyan president Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi, a well-know nutjob, says he believes it.

“Gaddafi is a great Shakespeare fan,” says Khan. “He believes that Shakespeare was actually an Arab immigrant to Britain called Sheikh Zubeir.”

More about Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq:

Somewhere out there must be someone who knows where the idea originated, where it was published, where it popular, etc. etc. That is what I’d like to know. Was it a serious theory, or was it tongue-in-cheek? I am aware of various controversies concerning who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays, but I think his life is pretty well documented.


Filed under arab, arabian, arabic, arabist

2 responses to “Shaykh Zubayr

  1. Pingback: Some of My Favorite Old Posts « Anonymous Arabist وين الناس

  2. Dear Anonymous Arabist,
    I am currently penning a thesis that UNEQUIVOCALLY PROVES (by way of a formal logical proof) that Shake-speare was an Arab, a displaced Syrian. I would very much like to procure the article by Safa’ Khulusi, as it would buttress my thesis. BTW, Khulusi also wrote an article in English for the now defunct Islamic review, which archive is accessible from
    If you have the article, I would very much appreciate if you’d share it with me; in return for the favor, I will happily forward you a copy of my work when it is finished.
    I thank you in advance for your time and consideration,
    Lisa Hejazi

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