Hassan Sayed ’15
Tell me of the richness of poor Ali Baba, brother of wealthy Cassim,
which sent many to death and others
to a life of wealth. The Fates would have it
that Ali Baba would marry a poor woman,
and Cassim a wealthy woman. Cassim would
grow to be wealthy, and
Ali Baba poor.
Start at the point where toiling Ali Baba, cutting trees to make
money, spotted hordes of horsemen beating towards him
Through fear, Ali Baba, leapt into a tree, out of sight.
Dismounting his steed, the captain of the
band moved towards a brush-covered cliff face
and spoke out loud—his words had wings.
“Open Sesame!” And suddenly, like stones
crashing down the mountainside,
wreaking their path and instilling fear into
passersby—that’s how a door grated open out of the
rock face behind those
Gazing into the opened edifice, poor Ali Baba saw riches.
Chests overflowing with gold pieces, leather purses,
precious silks, and silvers. Soon, the thieves left,
and closed the door behind them with the
words “Shut Sesame.”
Seizing the opportunity given to him by Fate,
crafty Ali Baba snuck down to the cliff face, and opened
the door with the words “Open Sesame.”
And then he bound as much gold
to his donkeys as they could
carry and left, closing the door with
the words “Shut Sesame.”
Coming home, lucky Ali Baba’s wife was
excited by the prospect of Gold. She ran
to the wife of Cassim, asking for a scale
to weigh it. Suspicious of her
request, the wife of Cassim placed wax
at the bottom of the scale, pondering what
sort of grain poor Ali Baba
And so, Ali Baba’s wife weighed the gold and
returned the scale. But after weighing, one small gold
piece had stuck to the wax. And then, like a hawk eyes
prey as it swoops through the sky, with its eyes
keen and peeled—that’s how wealthy Cassim’s wife spied
the piece. Afterwards, she informed her spouse that his
brother was richer, for he measured his wealth; he did
not count it.
Then spiteful Cassim spoke to his brother, incited
by curiosity of his newfound richness. By pressure
Ali Baba revealed the location of the secret door.
Greedy Cassim travelled to the location of the gold,
and used the words “Open Sesame” as Ali Baba, brother of
Cassim, had told him.
And then he went in, but without
knowing how to close the door, for Ali Baba
had not told him. Like a stupified faun Cassim sat
inside, praying to Zeus for hope
of salvation. He faced deadly fate.
But Fate had it
that the thieves from returned, and seeing
this man trapped within, disemboweled
him and strew his body parts
on stakes throughout
Dishonored Cassim’s wife, fearing for her husband
who did not return, sent noble Ali Baba
to seek him out. Ali Baba came to the cave,
and then, like the seekh kababs at a kabab
house, sizzling on the skewers, clean cut and cubic,
sizzling upon the fire—that’s how
Ali Baba saw the body parts of Cassim,
with the light of gold reflecting onto
the carnage. Blood flowed like a fountain
of dark water. They were motivated
by Ares, who makes men dishonor each other
for the sake of honor.
In his deception, Ali Baba sought a
maid of destroyed Cassim, Morgiana
who bought medicines and created
the illusion that Cassim had died
Then Ali Baba
sought a sewer, and paid him
with his newfound wealth to stitch
together the body of his deceased Brother.
And then dishonored Cassim was buried, like any other man,
who dies of sickness
But the thieves returned
to their hideout, and seeing the
body of dishonored Cassim missing, realized another
had discovered their deep secret.
Travelling into town, they came upon the
sewer, who mentioned Ali Baba’s name and
the work that was
given to him.
Then the thieves set into motion their plan
to rid themselves of pestilent Ali Baba. First, they marked
the house of Ali Baba so they could come later
in the dead of night to
end his life.
But crafty Morgiana, perceiving these things,
marked every house in the city, so the
thieves could not kill Ali Baba; they would not know
which house to go to. And the next
day, a chip was made on persistent Ali Baba’s stone doorstep.
And again, crafty Morgiana chipped all
the doorsteps in the city
so the thieves could not
kill perceptive Ali Baba.
Then the leader of the thieves came
to wealthy Ali Baba as an oil merchant
with 38 barrels of oil to do business. Yet one
barrelwas filled with oil, the other 37 with thieves.
Then crafty Morgiana,
perceiving these things, poured boiling
oil into the 37 barrels, killing the
thieves inside. The thieves could not
kill perceptive Ali Baba.
And discovering that the false
oil merchant was the leader of the
thieves, goddess-like Morgiana murdered the man
with a dagger as he feasted.
And so, noble Ali Baba gave her freedom
for her great favor and
he was given freedom
from fear of death.
Afterwards, noble Ali Baba continued to
steal the riches he had found within
the cave. And he passed the secret
of the cave to his sons and they
to their sons. So forever his family lived a life
of great prosperity