Amin Maalouf’s Novel ‘Samarkand’ Adapted into Small Screen
Syrian scenarist Ghassan Jbaai has finished writing the script of a new TV series about the life history of famed poet Omar al Khayyam, basing on the Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf’s novel Samarkand.
The series which is produced by al Sham International for TV and Cinema Production, will be directed by Tunisian Shawqi al Majeri.
The series filming will take place in several countries: Azerbaijan, Kazakhistan, Iran, Iraq and Syria.
The story of the Lebanese writer who won France's most prestigious literary award, the Prix Goncourt, in 1993, is woven around the history of the manuscript of the Rubaiyaat of Omar Khayyam, from its creation by the poet and sage in eleventh-century Persia to its loss when the Titanic sank in 1912.
Unwittingly involved in a brawl on the streets of Samarkand, Omar Khayyam is brought before a local judge who recognizes his genius as a poet and gives him a blank book in which to inscribe his verses. Thus the head of a great poet is saved and the Rubaiyaat of Omar Khayyam is born.
The threads of his life become interwoven with the designs of the vizier, Nizam al Mulk, and of Hassan Sabbah, the founder of the Order of the Assassins who later hides the precious manuscript in his famous mountain fortress. At the end of the nineteenth century the poems fire the imagination of the West in Edward Fitzgerald's evocative translation. An American scholar learns of the manuscript's survival and recovers it with the help of a Persian princess. Together they take it on the fateful voyage of the Titanic.
The TV series not only deals with the life of the famed Arab figure, but also sheds light on the time period in which Khayyam lived. The producers aim to give the audience a closer look at Islam and the Arab world during the middle ages period, while tracing the events of Khayyam's life.
Khayyam's poetry has been translated into several languages, and is most famous for its embodiment of themes such as life, love and beauty. The middle ages figure, Khayyam, studied philosophy, and later on life went to become a much-esteemed mathematician and astronomer -- Albawaba.com
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)