On 21 September 2019 the presentation of the book “Mem u Zîn” took place in Vienna. The event was organised by the cultural society “Kurdisches Zentrum”.
During the event, Dr. Feryad Fazil Omar presented his translation of the classic Kurdish epos “Mem u Zîn”. This is a literary piece written in the 17th century by the famous Kurdish author and poet Ehmedê Xanî.
Ehmedê Xanî was born in the province of Hekkarî in 1650. He was a cultivated man, who was versed in philosophy, Islamic theology, and rhetoric. He mastered Persian, Arabic, Ottoman-Turkish and, of course, Kurdish. The story traces the classic topos of the impossible love as seen in “Romeo and Juliet” or other works from Persian authors, from which Xanî obtained his inspiration. The epos displays an analysis of the society at the time and inserts the element of Kurdish identity amidst foreign powers. “Mem u Zîn” represents a reflection on the role of Kurds in the history of the Middle East and it is the most important literary example of the Kurdish language. For this reason, its significance is still very much relevant to this day.
Dr. Feryad Fazil Omar is a Kurdologist, Iranist and professor of Kurdish language and literature at the Frei Universität Berlin as well as the founder and president of the Institute of Kurdish Studies in Berlin. He has dedicated his life to the translation and analysis of Kurdish literary works in German and English, in order to spread the knowledge about this language and its literary treasures. His most important work is indeed the German translation of the epos “Mem u Zîn”.
The event was organised by the Kurdisches Zentrum. The goals of the association are manifold and range from establishing communication and cooperation of Kurds living in Austria to the cultivation of Kurdish culture and language, as well as conducting German and Kurdish courses.
For more information:
Visit the webpage of the Institute of Kurdish Studies Berlin
Visit the Facebook page of the Kurdisches Zentrum