Eminent shah of the sky,
A marvellous flying hybrid of Persian mythology, the Simurgh is a griffin-like great bird said to have dog features (sometimes a human face) and lavish, extravagant feathers similar to a peacock. An icon across a range of Middle Eastern cultures - from ancient Iran through the medieval Byzantine empire and beyond - the fabulous wings of the Simurgh have adorned a wide array of artworks across the ages and is reckoned to live 1,700 years before burning up to be born again, phoenix-style. With immense wisdom as befits its old age, the creature is symbolic of purity, healing and fertility and is frequently figured as a helpful, benevolent bird in folk tales. Hailed as the almighty venerable ruler over all avian creatures and intercessor between earth and the heavens, the spectacular plumage of the Simurgh is a bonus that makes the being even more imaginatively-inspiring. Flying high on beautiful wings, here's to the majestic dog-bird of Persian legend.