Opening of the Iranian cultural festival in Damascus

TEHRAN — An Iranian cultural festival opened Wednesday at Khan As’ad Pasha, a major historical site in the Old City of Damascus, Syria.

Syrian Culture Minister Lubanah Mshaweh and Iran Culture and Islamic Relations Organization (ICRO) Director Mohammad-Mehdi Imanipur also attended the opening ceremony of the festival titled “Iranian Cultural Week”.

The ceremony began with the screening of a documentary on cultural development in Iran and a musical performance and zurkhaneh acrobatics by Iranian groups.

The festival organizes exhibitions featuring Iranian carpets, costumes, handicrafts, paintings and cuisines.

In a brief speech, Imanipur called Damascus a major capital of the Arab world, which has a rich and ancient past, and said, “Iranian Cultural Week offers the Syrian people a useful window into Iranian civilization and the affinities between Iran and Syria. people, and the expansion of relationships between them.

Mshaweh also said that such events help to promote the rich cultural aspects of Iran, and hailed the greatness of Iranian civilization, and said that she had previously held talks with Iranian officials on the Road to silk and artistic and cultural creations.

Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Sobhani also attended the opening ceremony of the cultural week.

“Recent cultural developments have made the role of culture in expanding international relations more important,” he said, adding, “The cultural week is a new chapter in Iran-Syria relations. “.

Iranian Cultural Attaché Hamidreza Esmati said, “Today we must help revive traditional arts, believe in them and introduce them to the younger generation to save them from extinction.”

He called the cultural week the start of a series of cultural festivals in Iran and Syria, which he hopes will help deepen cultural ties between the two countries.

“The festival is a bridge that leads our children and young people to cultural safety,” he added.

Mshaweh and Imanipur also signed a Cultural Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), on the basis of which Syria and Iran will collaborate on issues such as joint film projects, music, book translation and site restoration. ancient.

Based on the MoU, the two sides also agreed to consider plans to translate books by Iranian and Syrian writers into Persian and Arabic.

Imanipur called the MoU a roadmap for expanding relations between the two countries, and Mshaweh said it will help the Iranian and Syrian peoples to reach mutual understanding.

In early September, Mshaweh and a number of his colleagues traveled to Iran and held meetings with Imanipur and several Iranian officials, including his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad-Mehdi Esmaeili.

Photo: Iranian Culture and Islamic Relations Organization Director Mohammad-Mehdi Imanipur and Syrian Culture Minister Lubanah Mshaweh sign a memorandum of understanding in Damascus on September 28, 2022. (ICRO)

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Darcy J. Skinner