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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

A Farsi and Scots Marvel

4th December 2014

February 2015 will see the return of the Edinburgh Iranian Festival which is staged every two years. The idea behind the festival is to address misconceptions that the Scottish public might have in relation to Iran and Iranian culture. There will be events centred on art, music, history, fashion, food, and, of course, language.

This year the Scots Language Centre is very proud to announce that our own former makar ben the hoose, Rab Wilson, has been invited to read some of his Scots language version of the Rubiyt of Omar Khayym. Rab, who is a native of Ayrshire, has been making a name for himself as a poet in Scots for a number of years and was delighted to be asked to take part in the festival. Speaking to the SLC Rab said "Iran claims tae be the birthplace o poetry sae it seems gey fittin tae me that we shuid ettle tae hae ane o their key cultural poetic maisterpieces read an celebrated here in Scotland in Scots as pairt o their ongauns! The mair we can dae tae bring oor kintras thegaither in common frienship throu art, poetry an leeterature the better!"

Omar Khayym (1048-1131) was a Persian scholar of many skills who wrote a number of treatises and between 200 and 600 Rubiyt (or quatrains, that is, four line stanzas or poems) in the Farsi language.  In 2010 Rab Wilson published his own Scots version of the Rubiyt which was well received. It is currently the intention of the festival organisers that Rab will read the Scots version at the opening ceremony set to take place on Friday 6 February 2015 at St Johns church in Edinburgh. Please watch this space for confirmation.