TEHRAN, Aug. 24 (Mehr News Agency) -- The Iranian festival entitled "Iran-Persia, the Gate of the Orient" is underway in the Spanish city Vitoria. The event is held by the Vitoria municipality and cosponsored by Iran's cultural attaché office in Spain, The University of the Basque Country and other Spanish organizations.
At the opening ceremony on August 19, the deputy mayor of Vitoria, Juan Carlos Alonso, said that the event aims to introduce Vitoria citizens to Persian culture and civilization.
Several cultural festivals from other countries, including Mexico, China, Japan, Egypt and Rome, were held in the city previously and this year's edition is dedicated to Iran as one of the world's centers of culture and civilization, he mentioned.
"The municipality spends over €86000 for the event, which this indicates the importance of holding such events," he claimed.
Iran and Spain are two countries that historically are the cradle of the world's culture and civilization, and their relationship dates back hundreds of years, the Iran's cultural attaché in Spain Seyyed Ahmadreza Khezri said during the ceremony.
Although the two countries are involved with numerous economic activities making Spanish people acquainted with Iranian commodities, unfortunately they do not have much knowledge of Iran's cultural heritage or of its identity, he lamented.
Not only ordinary Spanish people but also many Spanish academics consider Iran an Arab country, and so they call Persian luminaries like Khayyam, Rhazes and Ghazali Arab figures, he said.
In this way they overlook the important role of Iran in developing the world civilization. Events such as this one can present a true picture of Iran for Spanish society and correct the stereotypes drawn by western mass media, he added.
"Iranians bring a message of peace, friendship, equality and love for the whole world," he concluded in his speech.
Visitors can learn about religion, art, customs and cuisine of Iranians through workshops, exhibitions, poetry recitals, concerts, film festivals, seminars and concerts from the time of the Persian Empire until contemporary era in Iran during the gala.
The festival started on August 19 and will conclude August 24.
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