Book presentation and reading session: “De Zoon van de Gazelle” by Kamal Essabane

The Son of the Gazelle is a famous story from the twelfth century, the heyday of Arab-Islamic culture. It is about a boy who grows up on a desert island and is raised by a gazelle. He doesn't know how he got there and goes on a journey of discovery on his own. While philosophizing, he gains insight into the great questions of life:

What's the origin of life?
What is the difference between humans and (other) animals?
What can we learn from nature?
Is the universe infinite or finite?

What is a good person?

The Son of the Gazelle is a contemporary retelling of Hayy ibn Yaqzan, one of the great texts of world literature. The writer Ibn Tufayl (1110-1185) was an Islamic philosopher, theologian, physician, astronomer and high-ranking political advisor, who lived in southern Spain.

The story is accompanied by illustrations and written for a young audience (while also appealing to adult readers). This originally Arab-Islamic story will build bridges in our diverse society by showing that certain philosophical questions are universal, regardless of the philosophical/religious background of the person asking them. At the end of each chapter are a number of philosophical questions to ponder or have a philosophical conversation about together.