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Kids' Zone Brian Dispatch

Three's Company
April 5, 2000

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Hmm... there is more to this man than we thought...
A few days ago, Monica, Abeja, and I set out to visit a storyteller from long ago named Omar Khayyam. As visited the tomb of this respected poet, I learned a fascinating story about him.

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You, too, can study like Omar!
When Omar was in his early teens, he left home to study with a famous Imam - Imam Mowaffak of Naishapur. It was said that anyone who studied the Koran and Islamic religious traditions with him would surely rise to prominence in the world. Omar was joined by two other students, Hasan Sabah and Nizam-ul-mulk, and they became fast friends. Hasan Sabah proposed that if any one of them became rich they would share their riches and power equally. All three agreed.

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The writings of Omar Khayyam
After they graduated, fortune was bestowed on them. Nizam was appointed to a government position and rose to be Administrator of Affairs. So Omar and Hasan Sabah came to collect on their schoolyard bet. Hasan requested a place in the government and Omar requested to live quietly in the shadows of Naishapur where he could spread the benefits of science. Nizam granted him a yearly salary of gold from the government so he could pursue his studies.

A great set-up, right? Nope! Trouble soon began to brew. Greedy for power, Hasan Sabah made a failed attempt to overthrow his own friend from office. He was disgraced and expelled from the government and the town. Meanwhile, Omar Khayyam was happily pursuing his studies in science.

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The cover of the tomb of Omar Khayyam
Hasan Sabah then became involved with a group of terrorists and bandits who would go on missions and murder religious and political leaders throughout the region. Nizam continued his life in politics under the Sultan until he was murdered by Hasan Sabah's band of assassins. Omar was not a target and lived to the ripe old age of seventy-six. Hasan Sabah died the next year at eighty-four, and the assassins continued to flourish.

Can you believe that story? Well, you know what they say: "The best of friends make the worst of enemies."


p.s. - Please e-mail me at

Abeja - Sweet Home Iran

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