The anecdotes in this book were patiently collected by Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī in medieval Baghdad. For this reason, I am dedicating this book to the inhabitants of Iraq for their immense contribution to human civilization in medieval as well as ancient times. I am also dedicating it to the memory of the half million innocent Iraqi children who perished as a result of the first gulf war of 1991 and the ensuing sanctions