The story at hand is a love story, its protagonists Khosrow II, Shirin and Farhad. Though the historical detritus of the first two are scattered across the Kurdish region of Iran in the form of castles, cities and caves, it is unclear whether Farhad was also a historical figure. Khosrow first appears in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, the Book of Kings that to this day remains the national epic of Iran, but his love story is only alluded to. It was Nizami Ganjavi who expanded on Khosrow’s story with the 12th century epic poem Khosrow & Shirin, an overplotted mess of staggering lyrical beauty and dubious character motivation that is now widely considered one of the most important texts in all of the Middle East.
Agri Ismaïl on Shirin, Farhad and Khosrow.