Please forward this error screen to 199. Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” redirects here. This story is included in many versions of the The sheik retold pdf Thousand and One Nights, to which it was added by Antoine Galland in the 18th century.


It is one of the most familiar of the “Arabian Nights” tales, and has been widely retold and performed in many media, especially for children, where the more violent aspects of the story are often suppressed. In the story, Ali Baba is a poor woodcutter who discovers the secret of a thieves’ den, entered with the phrase “Open Sesame”.

The thieves learn this and try to kill Ali Baba, but Ali Baba’s faithful slave-girl foils their plots. Ali Baba gives his son to her in marriage and keeps the secret of the treasure. Galland was an 18th-century French Orientalist who may have heard it in oral form from a Middle Eastern story-teller from Aleppo, in modern-day Syria.

In any case, the earliest known text of the story is Galland’s French version. Ali Baba and his elder brother Cassim are the sons of a merchant.

After their father’s death, the greedy Cassim marries a wealthy woman and becomes well-to-do, building on their father’s business. Ali Baba marries a poor woman and settles into the trade of a woodcutter.