On Wednesday 19. March Aarhus officially welcomed their second ICORN guest writer, Iranian journalist, author and literary critic, Omid Shams Gakieh.
Omid Shams Gakieh is an author, literary critic and freelance journalist. He holds an MA in American Studies from the University of Torino, Italy and has published several books, which include poems, novels, and translations of prominent American authors into Farsi, like Ginsberg and Bergstein. He has written numerous essays on poetry and critical theory, all published in various literary journals, magazines, as well as online. He has been co-editor of literary magazines, including Zendeh Rood,Bidaar and Dastoor.
After experiencing threats and assaults from the authorities in Iran as a result of his writings and engagement in the human rights situation in Iran, he fled his home country for Europe. Shams Gakieh arrived safely in Aarhus earlier this month and will continue his writings in his new safe haven.
At the welcoming reception, City Council Member Rabih Azad-Ahmad said: “Freedom of expression is a cornerstone in the Danish democracy. I am very happy that we can assist Omid Shams Gakieh in continuing his work.”
Aarhus City of Refuge
Aarhus was the first city in Denmark to become a member of ICORN in 2007, politically paving the way for more Danish cities to join the network. Today Copenhagen, Odense and Fanø are are also active members. Omid Sham Gakieh is Aarhus’ second guest writer. Tendai Tagarira from Zimbabwe was the first hosted guest writer in Aarhus.