In 1188 CE the renowned Farsi poet Nizami wrote his poem ‘Layla & Majnun’, based on the ancient Bedouin legend of Layla & Qays ibn al Mulawwah. The Arabic legend grew from the preserved fragments of poetry written by Qays, as well as oral history and tradition. The legend originated from the Najad desert and it was already some 500 years old by the time it reached Nizami.
In this textured, evocative work, Nizami created a text of many layers and many facets - a poignant love story; reflections on the workings of the soul; a treatise on Divine Love.
Nizami’s ‘Layla & Majnun’ became a classic of Islamic literature, inspiring hundreds of other versions across Muslim lands and also influencing love stories and poetry in Europe. Jumana retells her version of the story, with musical accompaniment.