The birth, life and early years of the Fariyaq, the alter-ego of the Arab scholar Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq
The Leg Over Leg describes the life and the birth, up to middle age of “the Fariyaq,” alter the alter ego that was the alter ego of Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, a important figure in the intellectual as well as literary heritage of the contemporary Arab world. The ever-edifying and frequently funny stories of “the Fariyaq when he travels from his home in Lebanon towards Egypt, Malta, Tunis, England, and France
There He wrote and published his most significant work.
In the late 1850s Faris relocated to Tunisia and in 1860 He made the decision to convert to Islam in 1860, assuming the initial name Ahmad. Then, moving to Istanbul later in the year to become translator upon the request from the Ottoman government. Faris also created The Arabic language newspaper. The newspaper was backed by the Ottomans, Egypt and Tunisia in the final years of publication, until the 1880s.
Faris continued to advocate Arabic culture and language and culture, despite the 19th century “Turkization” which was promoted by the Ottomans who were based in modern-day Turkey. Shidyaq is believed to be among the founders in modern Arabic literature. He wrote the bulk of his novels during his early days.