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Bsees, Ursula: Telling saints’ life stories – written and oral accounts of holiness in the Central/Eastern Nile Delta. Version 01

Abstract: This article deals with the stories about the local shaykh al-Ghunēmī in the Eastern Nile Delta village Ṣafṭ Zurayq. The shrine's visitors are given certain information about his life and miracles which is said to be completed by a paper scroll kept by the family looking after the shrine. In contrast to the information given by the local people, the scroll contains a work of nasab (genealogy) on the descendants of Saʿd b. ʿUbāda in Egypt and Syria (last copy approx. 1520-1550 CE) and Shaykh al-Ghunēmī only appears in a small text added after the end of the main text in another hand. Since oral and written sources on the topic contradict each other, we must assume the parallel existence of two seperate strings of tradition, an oral and a written one.

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