0513 GMT December 05, 2021
Efforts are underway to register Shiraz, the capital of the southwestern province of Fars, as a UNESCO Creative City of Literature, said the director general of the city’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department.
In an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Rasoul Moshtaqian said that the department is cooperating with the Shiraz Municipality for achieving the purpose.
He noted that the dossier should be prepared and submitted by the city’s municipality, adding that Shiraz’ Cultural Heritage Department is in charge of creating coordination among relevant associations and departments.
He added that 10 cities of various countries have so far been included in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the field of literature, pointing out that Shiraz, as the cradle of great Iranian poets and mystics, deserves to be on the list.
Moshtaqian said that Shiraz was recognized as a World Crafts City by the World Crafts Council in January 2020.
“Shiraz is known as a literary city worldwide due to Sa’di and Hafez, the two great Iranian poets of the seventh and eighth centuries AH (after hejira), who have been buried in the city.
“In addition, a large number of well-known Iranian writers, poets and mystics were from Shiraz and are buried there, such that the city has been known as the Dar al-Erfan (The House of Mysticism),” he said.
“Shorideh Shirazi, a famous poet of the Qajar Era, Khwaju Kermani, a great poet from the first half of the eighth century AH, Sibawayh, a prominent Iranian philosopher and linguist of the second century AH, Ali Abu Abdullah ibn Bakuyeh, also known as Baba Kuhi, a poet of the 4th and 5th centuries AH, Shah Daei Allah, a famous mystic of the ninth century AH, and Sadreddin Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Qavami, commonly known as Mulla Sadra, a popular mystic of the 10th and 11th centuries AH, are among the other prominent literary figures who lived in the city,” he added.
The official pointed out that Shiraz has a superior position in the field of culture and literature compared to other cities of Iran, noting the city was once nominated to become the Second Creative City of Literature, after Edinburgh, Scotland, but the chance was lost and Melbourne won the position.
“Presently, we are seriously pursuing the registration of Shiraz as a Creative City of Literature” he said, adding creative cities can be included in UCCN in several fields including literature, gastronomy and handicrafts.
He said that so far Isfahan has been inscribed as a Creative City of Handicrafts, while Rasht, in the northern province of Gilan, has been registered as a Creative City of Gastronomy.
Moshtaqian continued that the Shiraz Cultural Heritage Department is planning to prepare and compile a calendar of Iranian heritage.
“This calendar was originally supposed to be prepared only for Fars Province, but based on the decision taken during the visit of Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, Ali-Asghar Mounsan, the department is now tasked to create the calendar for the whole country,” he said.
He observed that this calendar can be a good source for events taking place in the fields of tourism, cultural heritage and handicrafts of the country.
He said that, previously, a calendar of tourism events was available in the country, but we didn’t have a calendar comprising all the information relating to tourism, cultural heritage and handicrafts sectors.
He said that the calendar will also include biographies of Iranian luminaries, the anniversaries of the national and global registrations of the country’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage, and the opening dates of museums and cultural centers.
Shiraz is the fifth largest and most populous city of Iran.