Can a Majnun become a Sufi
Leila and Majnun
»Love between two is not perfect as long as one, speaking of the other, says:› I ‹...« / Sufi wisdom
"When I say 'I', I don't mean me as you see me, but the love that speaks out of me." / Leila and Majnun, Albert Ostermaier
Leila and Majnun, the most famous lovers of the Islamic culture, tell of a love of deepest spirituality. The Persian poet Nizami wrote her story in 1188 and thus created a timeless love epic.
The great love between the children Qeis and Leila disturbs and provokes those around them in such a way that they are forcibly separated from each other. Qeis' pain over it turns into open madness. He leaves home, parents and tribe, wanders through the desert alone, hungry and aimless, speaks of nothing other than Leila and composes verses of such overwhelming beauty that, collected by the people, they make him and his love world famous. Qeis becomes Majnun, "The madman". Although married to someone else, Leila remains loyal to him. They meet one more time, but their loved ones have already completely transcended each other and soon afterwards death redeems them.
Albert Ostermaier, the famous lyric poet and playwright, wrote a play based on the Persian epic Nizamis for the Ruhrtriennale that tells the story of these lovers in an emotionally intense and radical manner and reveals the relevance and timelessness of this epic.
Heard for the Palestinian-Israeli composer Samir Odeh-Tamimi Leila and Majnun on cultural heritage. He lives and works in Germany and thus encounters the myths of his homeland from a distance - with the masses of sound, complex gestures and the radical force of his musical language. "I am Majnun!", says Samir Odeh-Tamimi with a laugh while working on Leila and Majnun for the Ruhrtriennale 2010.
A work commissioned by the Ruhrtriennale.
Funded by the Kunststiftung NRW.
With the kind support of the Association of Friends and Supporters of the Ruhrtriennale.
The libretto version of "Leila and Majnun" by Albert Ostermaier can be requested from the Ruhrtriennale. Send an email with your address to and we will send you the text by post.
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