TEHRAN, Dec. 21 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran's programs marking Rumi's 800th birth anniversary were brought to a close with the celebration "500 Days with Molana" on December 19th at Tehran's Vahdat Hall.
The secretary of the celebration Ali-Asghar Mohammadkhani made a short speech in which he talked about the necessity of setting up a center devoted to Rumi.
He went on to say that there are meeting places and foundations dedicated to the great poets Hafez, Sadi, Attar and Khayyam, but no foundation has yet been registered in the name of Rumi, adding, "We hereby propose to establish a Rumi Foundation in Iran."
He mentioned that celebrations had taken place all over the world in commemoration of Rumi, but pointed out that Iran is still in the early stages of carrying out the research which should be undertaken on the poet and his masterpiece the Masnavi Manavi.
Afterwards, Ahmad Jalali (Iran's former UNESCO ambassador in Paris) referred to the Masnavi Manavi as the greatest spiritual classic created by mankind and said, "In the last days of the year of Rumi, and at the present time when Iran is holding celebrations in his name, many are now gathered in Konya and are holding programs for the anniversary of his death, this demonstrates that he has become a figure of international acclaim."
He continued that much has been written in the media about the unique quality of Molana's works, but added that it should be noted that Rumi was an Iranian from Khorasan, adding, "Molana spoke Persian and composed his poetry in that language, and even on UNESCO's Rumi medal he is named as a Persian poet."
Gholamreza Avani (Head of the Wisdom and Philosophy Institute) also made a speech, naming Molana as a universal personality, adding, "Molana is in a class of his own when considering all those who have written about the secrets of God in the language of poetry. He was a thinker in the true meaning of the word. Perhaps few have been able to talk about God in such simple terms as Rumi."
The eminent painter Aidin Aghdashlu also participated in the ceremony and made the observation that few artists have attempted to illustrate Rumi's most renowned work, saying "In the history of Iranian painting the Masnavi Manavi has been greatly overlooked."
"The Masnavi is an epic of the magnitude of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh, but it must be asked -- why is the number of illustrations of Rumi's work fewer than that of the Shahnameh?
Is it due to the fact that a greater number of works have been commissioned for the Shahnameh, or is it because there are more subjects suitable for illustration in Ferdowsi's work than there are in the Masnavi?"
"I must point out that any topic to be found in the Masnavi could be a subject for illustration. Perhaps artists and the commissioners of illustrations have considered that the words of Rumi are effective enough without pictures. I must say that I have no quick answer on this matter."
The celebration ended with musical performances by several bands and the screening of the video "Face in the Sun" by Mohammad Parvizi.
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