Barry Ison

Munizha Ahmad-Cooke News Leave a Comment

Written by James Cormick

Sad news. Nigel Ison, our trimestrial window cleaner, told us this morning that his father, Barry, died last month, on Sunday 10 February 2019, of heart complications. Even though he was 83, it came as a great surprise to me. I had thought he would live forever. Ever since he started working for us 20 years ago he had seemed in rude good health for someone in his third age. He was a roofer by profession and the way he climbed up the steep roofs of our large Victorian house fearlessly and without any protecting ropes was beyond belief, miraculous even, like walking on air. He also did many carpentry jobs for us, including constructing two tall rose trellises on the outside walls of the house and a fence and gate enclosing the back yard and vegetable garden. These latter were originally designed to keep Daisy and Tilly, my wonderful terriers, also sadly departed, from running amok in the garden, darting in and out of the traffic on Brooklands Avenue, and menacing the postman. Barry was part of all that. He didn’t only work for us, he participated in the life and development of the Trust, and quite obviously enjoyed coming here. And that enjoyment was thoroughly reciprocated by all of us.

Who climbs with toil, whereso’er

Shall find wings waiting there. 

(Henry Charles Beeching)

Nicholas Sims-Williams Wins Farabi International Award for Iranian and Islamic Studies

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We are delighted to share the news that our Chair, Nicholas Sims-Williams, Emeritus Professor of Iranian and Central Asian Studies at SOAS University of London, has been awarded the Farabi International Award for Iranian and Islamic Studies. Professor Sims-Williams travelled to Tehran at the end of January to receive the award, which honours his life’s work in Old and Middle Iranian philology – the study of the history of language, including the historical study of literary texts. Aimed at developing Islamic Humanities, the Farabi International Award is now in its …

Seasonal News

Ursula Sims-Williams News Leave a Comment

December 16th marked the 119th anniversary of the birth of our founding Trustee Sir Harold Bailey in 1899, just before the turn of the century – as he often reminded us. During his lifetime he regularly held a birthday tea-party on that date to which he invited colleagues and their partners. An especially charming custom was to present each of the ladies with a scented freesia. However, the main attraction was always the cake, a traditional fruit cake on which he had inscribed a word. Usually the word was too …

Michaelmas Term 2018 Lecture Programme

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A new series of lectures at the AIIT begins next Friday 26 October. All are welcome. Lectures begin at 5.30pm, refreshments from 5pm. Unless otherwise indicated, lectures are held at: Ancient India & Iran Trust 23 Brooklands Avenue Cambridge CB2 8BG 26 October: Cambridge Festival of Ideas. Christine van Ruymbeke, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Cambridge; Ancient India and Iran Trust. Literary Criticism and the Pendulum of Taste: The Reception of the Anvar-e Sohayli BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL for this event via the Festival of Ideas website 9 November: …

Feasting on the Shahnameh

Munizha Ahmad-Cooke Stories from the Collection 2 Comments

Amongst the manuscripts we hold at the Trust is Abolqasem Ferdawsi’s tenth-century epic Persian poem, the Shahnameh, copied in Samarkand in 1604. When I first applied for the Administrator post, this felt like an added reason to work here, as my name derives from that of Manizheh, the daughter of King Afrasyab and the heroine of the love story ‘Bizhan and Manizheh’ told in the Shahnameh. That this story was housed here reinforced the personal affinity I have always felt with the Trust. However, while I was aware of my …