‘A beacon of sanity in our age of polarity’*

The Idries Shah Foundation is a charity dedicated to publishing and disseminating the works and ideas of the writer and thinker Idries Shah — and to connecting ideas across disciplines, cultures and history to help bring about a deeper insight into human thought and behaviour. Besides publishing, we are also engaged in a wide range of charitable projects, from supporting education in deprived societies to collaborating with UNESCO to promote stories as the essence of culture.

*John Zada, Los Angeles Review of Books.

Hand-Printed Idries Shah Teaching-Stories

Hand-Printed Idries Shah Teaching-Stories

Next year is the centenary of Idries Shah’s birth. To celebrate, we’re excited to announce the creation of 500 hand-printed and individually-numbered folios of Idries Shah’s best-loved teaching-stories. Exquisitely illustrated, each story is housed in a handsomely-embossed clamshell box. This is a unique opportunity to own a collectors’ item of a once-in-a-generation impression of unsurpassed quality.

Explore more from the Idries Shah Library

All Idries Shah titles are available in hardback, paperback, ebook and as audio books. Recent new editions include a selection of illustrated teaching stories for children and The Idries Shah Anthology. Shah’s ground-breaking works on Sufi Studies and Traditional Psychology, including The Commanding Self, can be purchased as bundles.

The Three Imposters from World Tales


The Three Imposters from World Tales

Once upon a time – in 1979 to be exact – Idries Shah published a remarkable volume of 65 stories, entitled World Tales. He had collected them from around the world – some from ancient sources, others from contemporary ones. Yet they all shared one common factor: in each case, the tale could be found in similar forms in disparate cultures that appeared to have no connection with one another. One story, for example, was popular in Scotland and also pre-Columbian America simultaneously. ‘One feels a truly living element in them which is startlingly evident when one isolates the “basic” stories; the ones which tend to have travelled farthest,’ wrote Shah. Today’s story is drawn from this timeless collection. Read it, pass it on – and become a part of its journey. Who knows where it will travel next?

Latest from The Idries Shah Foundation

Find out about our latest projects and exciting publishing initiatives, read our blog – and listen to our popular podcast

Our Impact

Books for Afghanistan

Books for Afghans

We are distributing copies of our Dari translations to Afghans who have fled Afghanistan. 1,000 copies of our children’s books are being printed in the UK for immediate distribution. And 500 copies of our Nasrudin Dari editions are going to local councils, charities and military bases in the UK and USA.

UNESCO Collaboration

UNESCO Collaboration

Thousands of children between the ages of 12 and 18 participated in the ISF-UNESCO’s short story competition. The theme ‘Once Upon a Time in My Future…’ drew entries from as far afield as Chile, Iran and Mongolia. The winners won bespoke medals, ipads and copies of our children’s books for their school libraries.

Taking Sufi Literature ‘Home’

Taking Sufi Literature ‘Home’

The Idries Shah Foundation is making Idries Shah’s books available to readers in Asia and the Middle East, thereby ‘returning’ them to the societies that birthed much of the material he drew from. They are reaching refugees from Afghanistan and Iran – and now Turkish readers.

Explore the Idries Shah Library

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Some of the organisations with which we collaborate and whose work is important in the fields of Literacy, Imagination and the Humanities