Who Was Scheherazade?

"Scheherazade Went on with Her Story". Illustration from "Arabian Nights" by Virginia Frances Sterrett (1900-1931). Penn Publishing Company (1928).

"Scheherazade Went on with Her Story". Illustration from "Arabian Nights" by Virginia Frances Sterrett (1900-1931). Penn Publishing Company (1928).

Scheherazade was the famed storyteller of The One Thousand and One Nights that include the tales of Aladdin and His Magic Lamp, Ali Baba and The Forty Thieves and Sinbad the Sailor.

The name was chosen to embrace the character and narrative elements of our workshops, the idea of overcoming fear through story-telling, and the historical background of The One Thousand and One Nights travelling from Asia into Europe on the Silk Road.

According to the frame tale of The One Thousand and One Nights, many years ago, the king in ancient Persia discovered that his wife had been cheating on him. In his anger and disappointment, he had his wife executed, vowing to marry a virgin every day and ordering her to be executed after the wedding night! He consequently married and executed all the young women in the kingdom until his courtier’s daughter, Scheherazade, asked her father if she could marry the king. Her father, deeply concerned about his daughter’s safety, tried to persuade her against this, but she had a plan and persisted.

Scheherazade was a beautiful, well-read and intelligent young woman who was a gifted storyteller, weaving stories with spiritual and moral lessons for her listeners. Following her marriage to the king, on their wedding night, she captivated him with a story that went on late into the night, causing the king to allow her a stay of execution in order to finish her story the following evening. The clever Scheherazade continued to weave ever more fantastic and adventure-filled stories, each night leaving the king on tenter-hooks to discover what happened next. Her powerful storytelling thus continued every night, until the king eventually let go of his fear of women, fell in love with the beautiful Scheherazade … and they both lived happily ever after …


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Scheherazade Consulting brings to life for you stories that have an impact on the way in which you work and lead in China and other emerging markets.