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Saudi Researcher Identifies Mutanabbi’s Escape Route from Egypt to Iraq | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A detailed map on Mutanabbi’s escape route from Egypt to Iraq. Asharq Al-Awsat photo

Riyadh- Dr. Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Manea, a Saudi linguist, has made a remarkable achievement by setting a precise map for the escape of the great Arab poet Abu at-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi from Fustat in Egypt to Kufa in Iraq after scientific and field trips in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Iraq.
It has taken him eight years to study the route of the poet’s escape. This scientific data is the most accurate in determining the story and the path of the political escape of the most famous poet in the history of Arab literature.
Dr. Manea was able to determine the route Mutanabbi has taken, using maps and specialized coordinates whether in his country or in the three other countries the poet had passed through as he fled Fustat in the time of Kafur al-Ikhshidi to his hometown Kufa.
Mutanabbi’s journey took about four months, starting on January 19, 962 and ending on May 3 of the same year, after a five-year stay in Egypt, where he praised Kafur al-Ishkhidi,” the ruler of Egypt at the time, with several poems, aiming to obtain an emirate or a land, yet his desires were not met by the praised governor.
The Arab poet was able to escape despite the strict and precise surveillance by Kafur, who employed people just to watch him all day to thwart such an escape, fearing Mutanabbi’s satire if he did not meet his demands, which actually happened.
Manea’s documentation of the poet’s escape route, followed by a field and a precise map of the path Mutanabbi has taken was not the only major achievement as he also carried out an important study of the poet, whom the author described as great and as the symbol of the unique poetic style.
Prof. Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Manea was born in 1943 in Shaqraa town, Saudi Arabia. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Arabic Language in Riyadh in 1966 and the doctorate from University of Exeter in the United Kingdom in 1976 in the field of manuscript investigation.

Since then, he has been working as a teacher in the Department of Arabic at Umm al-Qura University. Since 1977, he has been a part-time professor of ancient Arabic literature at the Department of Arabic Language in King Saud University’s Faculty of Arts.