Aarhus was the first city in Denmark to join the ICORN, and in 2010, Aarhus also became the first city in Denmark to grant asylum to a persecuted writer - Tendai Tagarira from Zimbabwe. Now the municipality has welcomed its second guest writer, Omid Shams Gakieh.
Omid Shams Gakieh is 32 years old and comes from Iran. He has published several books and translations of American classics, for example Bernstein and Ginsberg, to Farsi. In addition, he writes articles on literature, culture and politics.
“It is an important signal Aarhus sends when we welcome Omid Shams Gakieh to our city. Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of Danish democracy, and I am therefore extremely pleased that we can help Omid Shams Gakieh to continue his work. Aarhus is a diverse and tolerant city and thus a natural base for a Refuge Network writer", says Alderman for Culture Rabih Azad-Ahmad.
The ICORN writer is accomodated in a flat in the centre of town. During his stay the writer is expected to contribute to the local and Danish cultural life in accordance with ICORNs Charter.
The contribution as a guest writer is made in agreement with the literary consultant of the city, the Literary Centre of Aarhus and according to the writer’s wishes. Besides writing, working as a writer includes participating in literary events, making presentations, working together with local cultural and educational organizations and other ICORN writers in Denmark as part of the City of Refuge Network scheme in Aarhus.