In accordance with our meta agreement to have topic challenges and a later meta agreement to have topic challenges lasting for two months and overlapping by one month, it is time to announce the March–April 2021 topic challenge.

Based on the number of votes in the proposals thread (+5), the third topic challenge of 2021 will be the Kurdish classic

Mem û Zîn (Mem and Zin).

What's a topic challenge?

See the meta posts linked above, and also this main meta post. In short, during March–April 2021 we should all try to read Mem û Zîn.

Participation is not obligatory in any sense, but those who participate will be forever remembered in the annals of our history. And of course it goes without saying that questions about other works are more than welcome during those months too; they just won't count as part of this topic challenge.

How can I take part?

By getting hold of Mem û Zîn, in any language you like, and asking good questions about it. These questions should be tagged with and and , and other tags if appropriate. We'll keep a list of all such questions in an answer to this meta post.

Below is Rand al'Thor's original presentation of this topic challenge, which contains some useful links:

This story is one of the most important works of Kurdish literature - a language group so far entirely unrepresented on our site. It's a Romeo & Juliet style romantic tragedy, written by Ahmad Khani in 1692 based on oral traditions. It's been adapted into a film (in Turkish) and a TV series.

  • Being such an old story, it has an English translation freely available online.
  • Also freely available online is an entire book about the story, containing various studies and analyses, uploaded to the Kurdish Institute Library.

What's next?

  • The January–February 2021 topic challenge, Theodor Fontane, and the February–March one, The Lusiads, are currently ongoing.
  • Vote here for the next topic challenge, or propose your own in an answer there!

1 Answer 1


List of all questions posted in this topic challenge

  1. When was Mem and Zin / Mam û Zîn first printed? by Tsundoku, 14/03/2021 (5 votes, 1 answer),
  2. When/where was "Mem and Zin" first compared to "Romeo and Juliet"? by bobble, 05/04/2021 (4 votes, no answers),
  3. What are all the love stories referred to in chapter 2 of Mem and Zin? by Rand al'Thor, 22/04/2021 (2 votes, 1 answer),
  4. What plight of the Kurds is suggested in Mem and Zin chapter 5? by Rand al'Thor, 23/04/2021 (0 votes, no answers),
  5. Where is the Kurdish principality of Botan? by Rand al'Thor, 25/04/2021 (two votes, 1 answer),
  6. Why did Mem/Tajdin and Zin/Siti disguise themselves for Nowruz? by Rand al'Thor, 29/04/2021 (1 vote, 1 answer),
  7. How does Ahmad Khani's Mem and Zin differ from the pre-existing oral tradition of the story? by Rand al'Thor, 30/04/2021 (0 votes, no answers).
  • add entries in the form https://literature.stackexchange.com/questions/<question-ID> by [username](https://literature.stackexchange.com/users/<user-ID>), dd/mm/2021.

The highest-voted of these is When was Mem and Zin / Mam û Zîn first printed?, with a score of 5 at the end of April.

The most viewed are When was Mem and Zin / Mam û Zîn first printed? and Where is the Kurdish principality of Botan?, each with approximately 40–45 views during the months of March and April. (The view counts currently shown are 43 and 40, so if you want to pick a winner it'd be the first one.)

Four out of the seven questions received an answer during the topic challenge: three of these answers were submitted by Spagirl, the other one by b4rtr.

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