Thursday, 8 January 2015


Talking to Paul, took me back to years ago. To 2007 and the Persian collection in the university library.

...The University of Manchester has a fantastic Persian collection that includes some real treasures. Sadly some of these can not be even found in Iran anymore. If only we could learn a thing or two about tolerance from these books. I am not taking about their contents, but simply about the way that they are arranged so peacefully next to each other on the shelves. I am sure some of their authors won’t even be able to be in the same room as one another. Gathering authors based on the library codes given to their books seemed like a funny thought. This might even be a good idea for reality TV. I imagined two of these authors together and could hardly stop myself laughing thinking about it. It was so hilarious that I nearly choked on the chocolate that I smuggled into the library and mischievously had a bite of it a second earlier.

After a while of searching the shelves an old book attracted my attention. It was a translation of Jami’s Yusef & Zulaikha to a language which seemed German. It had the original Persian text included of course. This book was donated to the library in 1884, but had never been taken out of the library before. In fact it was not even on the electronic referencing system. It had to be put on the system at the point of being borrowed. Fantastic! This is my discovery now. In fact it is more than a discovery; as far as I am concerned, I have given it the kiss of life! Jami you owe me one!!! I am glad that there are people who tend to collect books and hang on to them even if nobody seems to want to read them at the time. Thanks to them I now get to read this copy more than a century after it being added to the library’s collection...

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