Happy Khayyam Day

Monday, May 18, 2009

May 18 marks the birthday of the great Iranian poet, astronomer, and mathematician Omar Khayyam (1048-1131). Iranians annually celebrate the occasion as Khayyam Day.
 Omar Khayyam (born 1048 AD, Neyshabour, Iran—1123 AD, Neyshabour, Iran), was a Persian polymath, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer and above all poet.
He has also become established as one of the major mathematicians and astronomers of the medieval period. Recognized as the author of the most important treatise on algebra before modern times as reflected in his Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra giving a geometric method for solving cubic equations by intersecting a hyperbola with a circle. He also contributed to calendar reform and may have proposed a heliocentric theory well before Copernicus.
His significance as a philosopher and teacher, and his few remaining philosophical works, have not received the same attention as his scientific and poetic writings. Zamakhshari referred to him as “the philosopher of the world”. Many sources have also testified that he taught for decades the philosophy of Ibn Sina in Nishabour where Khayyam lived most of his life, breathed his last, and was buried and where his mausoleum remains today a masterpiece of Iranian architecture visited by many people every year.
Outside Iran and Persian speaking countries, Khayyam has had impact on literature and societies through translation and works of scholars. The greatest such impact was in English-speaking countries; the English scholar Thomas Hyde (1636–1703) was the first non-Persian to study him. However the most influential of all was Edward FitzGerald (1809–83) who made Khayyam the most famous poet of the East in the West through his celebrated translation and adaptations of Khayyam's rather small number of quatrains (rubaiyaas) in Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

Following are some of his quatrains translated by FitzGerald:

“AWAKE! for Morning in the Bowl of Night Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight: And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught The Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light.

Dreaming when Dawn’s Left Hand was in the Sky I heard a voice within the Tavern cry, “Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup Before Life’s Liquor in its Cup be dry.”

And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before The Tavern shouted — “Open then the Door! You know how little while we have to stay, And, once departed, may return no more.”

Now the New Year reviving old Desires, The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires, Where the White Hand of Moses on the Bough Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.”
A congress on Omar Khayyam Neishabouri opens on May 18th in Neishabour, Khorasan Razavi province to commemorate the celebrated Iranian poet and mathematician.

 The congress will be attended by several cultural figures and researchers on Khayyam’s works.

They include Reza Zadeh-Malek, a Tehran University professor, and Kavous Hassanali from Shiraz University.
The commemoration begins with sounding the “mathematics bell” at Neishabour’s Khayyam High School in the morning.

Khayyam’s mausoleum will be showered with flowers. Other programs to be held at Simorgh Cultural Center include reciting Khayyam’s quatrains, live music performance and a poetry competition.

Similar ceremonies to mark the day will also be held in Asian and African countries, including Qatar and Nigeria.

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طراحی و توسعه آگاه‌سیستم