Christine van Ruymbeke Delights Audience at Ninth European Conference of Iranian Studies

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By Almut Hintze

On 10 September 2019, AIIT trustee Christine van Ruymbeke treated the participants of the Ninth European Conference of Iranian Studies, held in Berlin on 9–13 September 2019, to her keynote lecture: ‘Rediscovering a literary treasure. The Anvār-e Sohayli written by Vaʿez Kāshefi in 15th-century Herat’. And what a treat it was! It was a pure delight to listen to Christine as she spoke on the literary merits of Kāshefi’s work, and the many failures of scholars to see them. The richly illustrated lecture was spiced with wit, especially when Christine discussed E.G. Browne’s damning assessment of the Anvār-e Sohayli and when she brought the fables to life and demonstrated their relevance even today. It was an event not to be missed. The lecture was chaired by Professor Beatrice Gruendler, who is shown in the picture below with Christine.

The Trust was well-represented at the conference, with fellow trustees Nicholas and Ursula Sims-Williams also participating with myself and Christine.

Professor Beatrice Gruendler and Dr Christine van Ruymbeke

The House in Spring

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By James Cormick. Now that we have pruned back the huge cherry laurels that were not only invading the lawn but also blocking the view, we can take long distance shots of the house from the road and the drive. It is looking lovely this spring, particularly with the Himalayan indigo plant framing the porch in flower.                                    

Barry Ison

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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 …

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

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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 …