Layla and Madjnun

Layla and Madjnun are the Eastern forerunners to Romeo and Juliet. Stories about their thwarted love have been told since the seventh century, from North Africa to Indonesia. The Persian poet Nezami (1141–1209) was the first the create the complete story of Layla and Madjnun. Within four months, he wrote over four thousand double verses.

In the programme ‘As glowing fireflies long for the night’, festival poets Kamran Mir Hazar ( Afghanistan), Hiromi Ito ( Japan), Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi ( Sudan) and Katia Kapovich (USA/Russia) talk about the unattainable as a central and recurring theme in the poetic tradition, and one that is also vital in their lives. Haffid Bouazza reads his translations of the epic tale. The most beautiful passages from Layla and Madjnun are presented through prose, film, dance and visual art.

Music: Majnun’s madness in the desert, opera by Rokus de Groot.
Presented by Asghar Seyed-Ghorab.

  •  Wednesday 16 June, 21.30 hrs, Main auditorium

‘Niets zo honds als liefdesverdriet’ is a Dutch-language programme for children about the things in life that can sometimes be beyond reach, like love, a country, a thing, or a special person, and is based on the Middle Eastern epic Layla and Madjnun. School children will read their poetry out loud, and there will be music and dancers.

Presented by Karen van Holst Pellekaan from the Dutch television series Loenatik.

  •  Sunday 13 June, 13.00 hrs, Main auditorium

Literary scholar Ihab Saloul talks about the role of poetry in the film adaptation of the classic tale of Layla and Madjnun, Habibi Rasak Kharban.

  •  Wednesday 16 June, 16.00 hrs, Foyer

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