An evening with Omar Khayyám through “The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam”

Eurasia News

Agha Iqrar Haroon

Islamabad: I had a wonderful evening on Saturday February 1, 2014 in Islamabad. I can call it an evening with legendary poet Omer Khayyam. I can also call it an evening with Dr. Aftab Kazi. However it will be unfair if I do not say it was actually a fabulous evening with Pakistan Norway Association (PANA). I can call it exotic evening also as PANA founder Mr. Atle Hetland offered us exotic docudrama or drama film “The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam” in an exotic atmosphere. It was a wonderful experience to screen a movie under candle lights–giving a feel of romantic Central Asia.

An evening with Omar Khayyám through “The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam”
An evening with Omar Khayyám through “The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam”


uzPANA arranged a critique lecture of Central Asian expert and poet, Dr. Aftab Kazi who indicated some historic distortion of this docudrama with historic perspectives. The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam is an independently-released drama film about the life of the famous Persian intellectual Omar Khayyám. It was directed by Kayvan Mashayekh and stars Vanessa Redgrave and Moritz Bleibtreu. It was released in 2005. Kamran is a 12 year old boy in the present day who discovers that his ancestor is the 11th century mathematician, astronomer, and poet of Persia, Omar Khayyam. The story has been passed down in his family from one generation to another, and now it is his responsibility to keep the story alive for future generations. The film takes us from the modern day to the epic past where the relationship between Omar Khayyam, Hassan Sabbah (the original creator of the sect of Assassins) and their mutual love for a beautiful woman separate them from their eternal bond of friendship. Filmed almost entirely on location in Samarkand and Bukhara, Uzbekistan. There was an impressive participation from Uzbekistan Embassy in Islamabad as a number of Uzbek diplomats attended this event.


Dr. Kazi informed gathering that there were many serious historic distortions in the movie that is otherwise a remarkable drama and helped to document Omer Khayyam. He said Omer had no bastard son as it was portrayed at the end of the film and his relation with Hassan Sabbah was also out of the historic context. Gathering included intellectuals, diplomats and students of universities. The lecture of Dr. Kazi was actually narration of history thread by thread and very useful for entire gathering.

It may be mentioned that the foundation of PANA was established in 2003 and is an International Friendship Association for Pakistanis, Norwegians and other friends of the two countries. PANA looks forward to establish contacts with likeminded organizations in Norway to enhance issues of mutual interest for the Pak-Norwegian community


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