14. - 21. November- at Litteraturhuset in Oslo
Wergelandsveien 29

UNESCO designated 2007 as the "Year of Rumi" to mark the 800th birth of the eminent philosopher and mystical poet Jalaladdin Rumi. Rumi is one of the greatest spiritual and literary figures of all times and is known for his profound messages and his call for love, humanity and peace.

At the House of Litterature (Litteraturhuset) in Oslo we continue to celebrate Rumi, and between 14th - 21st November the 2008 edition of the Rumi Festival will take place. The program will include storytelling performances, a seminar and conserts, including a special visit by the famous Tajikian musician Dolatmand Khalo.
Other guests include professor in Tajikian litterature Roshan Rahmani and the leader for Zyiodullo Shahidi International Cultural Foundation (NGO), Munira Shahidi from Tajikistan, storyteller Chirine El Ansary from Egypt, Kate Corkery from Irland and Heidi Dalsvein, Helga Samset and Øystein Vestre from Norway.
During the festival there will be events in English, Arabic, Farsi and Norwegian.
The Rumi Festival is arranged by Albatrass in collaboration with Norwegian P.E.N. and is supported by the Norwegian Arts Council, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry and the Freedom of Expression Foundation. The artistic director for the festival is Amir Mirzai.


Changes might occur in relation to both content and times in this program, so please check for updates at a closer date.

10:00 – Children's show with Chirine El Ansary in Arabic (for invited school classes)
13:00 – 13:30 Book launch: «Kjøpmannen og papegøyen» («The salesman and the parrot») by Rumi. Bilingual (Norwegian/Farsi) and illustrated edition. By Humle Publishing House.

This year's festival kicks off with an opening show celebrating the meeting point between Rumi and the West, between Rumi's age and our own and between different languages and traditions. We will witness an exciting musical collaboration when Said Dibaj performs together with Norwegian folk musicians, enjoy stories by both Rumi and other writers told by Chirine El Ansary, Heidi Dahlsveen and Nima Hajiri and experience poetry in both Norwegian and Farsi read by amongst others Erling Kittelsen. 'Blokkfløytistene' will perform music from the dark ages, and Øystein Vestre will present the evenings program.

20:30 Performance: «ARR»
The storytelling performance «ARR» («Scar») follows Omit and Shahen, both from Iran. They are thrown into the revolution in 1979 with the following war against Iraq. Both of them face the impossible to choice, to escape and leave everything they know behind. Which one of them deserves to be allowed to stay in Norway?
Performed by storyteller Helga Samset and Øystein Vestre with musician.

10:00 – THIS YEAR'S RUMI SEMINAR: Cultural heritage, communication and consequences
A seminar about the relationship between litterature and storytelling. Focusing on Tajikistan, cultural exchange and human rights.
Arranged in collaboration with Norwegian P.E.N. Elisabeth Eide will host the seminar.
Lasts from 10:00 – 16:00. Parts of the program will take place in English and in Farsi interpreted into Norwegian.

10:00 – 12:00

Part I – Challenges when translating between Norwegian and Farsi.
Lectures, discussions and presentations of new translations. Participants: Ardeshir Isfandiari, writer and poet Erling Kittelsen, translator Nina Zanjani, writer and playwright Elyas Poorgholam and professor at the University of Oslo, Finn Thiesen.

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 14:30

Part II - Rumi in contemporary Tajikistan
Lecture with Munira Shahidi: Rumi in Tajik litterature.
Where and to what extent is Rumi's work still present and important Tajikistan? Rumi's legacy in Tajik litterature as a whole.
Lecture by Roshan Rahmanov: The living Rumi-tradition in Tajikistan today.
The importance of poetry in the tradition of Persian storytelling. Rumi's presence in folk culture and in the oral tradition of storytelling i Tajikistan.

14:30 – 15:00 Break

15:00 – 16:00

Part III – The importance of culture and art in the development of democracy and human rights
Munira Shahidi and Roshan Rahmanov answers questions related to the human rights situation in Tajikistan and participates in a discussion on the importance of culture, art and litterature on the development of human rights. How does the development of cultural intitutions affect the human rights situation in a country?

– Nima Hajiri and Mohamad Mirzazadeh: Persian Stories (with music)
15:00 – Marianne Sundal: The performance «Folk og rare dyr» («People and strange animals»)


18:30 – The performance «Spiller jeg noen rolle?» («What's my part in this?») with Jannicke Stensnes. Directed by Gudmund Groven.
20:00 – Performance with Irish Kate Corkery

14:00 – The performance «Revestreker» with Lise Grimnes.
15:00 – Kate Corkery: Rumi in Irish (for older children and youth)


18:30 – The performance «Bankende hjerte – en reiseguide i erotisk folklore» («Beating heart – a travel guide in erotic folklore») with Heidi Dahlsveen*
20:00 – Performance with storytelling by Chirine El Ansary and music by Said Dibaj

Seminar: «Glemte heltefortellinger» («Stories of forgotten heroes»)
A day seminar with a focus on migration, human rights and the interpretation of stories of migration; stories about escaping, asylum etc. Recent immigration stories seen in relation to stories about Norwegian heroes who escaped during WW2 and brave settlers who emigrated to America.

Closed workshop over 3 – 4 days: Iranian storytellers from Kanoon Parvaresh participates in a workshop with Chirine El Ansary.*

Drum workshop with Sangimad Kholov


Performance: Sharing of results from the workshops


The world famous musician Dolatmand from Tajikistan performs at the Rumi Festival on his first visit to Norway. Dolatmand, who can play over 50 instruments, has been highly decorated by Jaques Chirac and who has been on 80 tours to all over the world, is famous for his work in preserving the traditional Tajik folk music Falak. He has also been an important figure in keeping alive the tradition of singing Rumi's texts. Dolatmand (song, setar, dotar, domreh, gheichak) with his band Khalo Layegh Shah (ghanoon), Khalo Rozimad (robab) anKhalo Sangimad (raf, tonbak), will take us on an exciting journey into the folk music of Central-Asia.

*To be confirmed.

Dar aid be kharabat

At Litteraturhuset ( in Oslo we will celebrate Rumi from the - of November 2008 with a seminar, storytelling performances and a consert with the famous tajikian musician Dolatmand Khalo.

During the festival there will be programs both in English and Norwegian.


The festival is arranged by Albatrass and Norsk P.E.N.
The Festival's supporters are: Norsk Kulturråd, og Fritt Ord.


Fritt Ord