Source: Tehran Times
The ECO Cultural Institute in Tehran will be playing host to a festival on the Persian poet and mystic Jalal ad-Din Rumi (1207-1273) today. Entitled the Sun Road Festival, the event has been arranged by the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).
Rumi's tomb in Konya, Turkey
When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth,
but find it in the hearts of men.
The festival will be held jointly by Iran, Turkey, Tajikistan and Afghanistan in about three months, ECO Cultural Institute Director Hojjatollah Ayyubi said during a press conference on Tuesday.
A large group of Rumi experts will attend the festival, which opens in Tehran today. The group will leave Tehran on September 30, which marks Rumi's birthday, to resume the festival in Shahrud, Tabriz and Khoy in Iran, Balkh in Afghanistan, and Istanbul and Darende in Turkey.
The festival will come to an end in December during the Urs of Rumi in the Turkish town of Konya that is home to Rumi's tomb. The Urs of Rumi is a weeklong commemoration ceremony leading up to December 17, which is the anniversary of Rumi's death.
Many musical performances, art exhibits and workshops and literary meetings have been arranged for the festival.
"Rumi can be considered as the symbol of the ECO's unity. He is a connecting link among the ECO members, because Iran, Turkey, Tajikistan and Afghanistan claim that he belongs to their cultures and civilizations," Ayyubi said.
He called Rumi an "Iranian poet and mystic who never composed even a single verse in any other language except Persian."
However, Ayyubi said, "The countries have reached a consensus about Rumi and in this they way, we can work with each other beyond the claims on where Rumi lived."
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