15 February, 2011

Iranian Cultural Week opens in Islamabad

Sana Jamal
A collection of Iranian jars on display.
Photo Courtesy: M. Javaid/APP

ISLAMABAD: Iranian Cultural Festival commenced at National Arts Gallery (NAG) of Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) with a lively inaugural ceremony on Monday. The event has been arranged to mark the 32nd Glorious Victory of Iran (also known as 1979 Islamic Revolution) which relates to the overthrow of Iran's monarchy (Pahlavi dynasty) under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution.

The week-long (February 14-19) cultural festival has been organized by the Cultural Consulate of the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in collaboration with PNCA featuring calligraphic paintings, photographs comprising development of Iran, original handwork on wood, metal, and cloth, engraved and rugs work, recitation of ‘Asmaul Husna’ and ‘Durood e Pak’, and screening of feature films to highlight the life after the great revolution.
In his inaugural address Masha Allah Shakiri, the Iranian ambassador said that the weeklong festival is a part of Iranian Revolution in which the artists from Iran had revealed the development of Iran through diversified means. “According to Ayatullah Khamini, the great leader of Iran, a nation without strong cultural institutions is like a mute person who could not communicate in any of language,” said Shakiri.

Iranian ambassador said it was a matter of joy that Iran and Pakistan were enjoying their cultural ties that would surely strengthen their socio-economic relations. He also recited Iqbal’s verses with a message of cooperation, unification and tolerance.
Iranian ambassador and others
appreciating the paintings.
Courtesy: M. Javaid/APP
Iranian ambassador Masha Allah Shakiri, PNCA head Tauqir Nasir, Joint Secretary Ministry of Culture, Iran, Umar Khattab, members of cultural delegations from Iran, diplomats, arts lovers, students and a large number of Iranian community residing in federal capital attended the inaugural event.
The exhibition is held in 3 different parts. One part includes inlaid work, embossed work, engraved work, rugs, and handmade mettle work and other ceramics, the second part includes over 200 miniature and oil on canvas, calligraphic paintings, and ancient paintings of Persian lifestyle diligently made by Iranian artists, while the third part includes recitation of Asma ul Husna, Naat and Durood Sharif, and screening of films.
“The art work in Iran is so rich and we are glad that some of this work has been put on display here in Islamabad. This festival would provide unique opportunity of Pakistanis to watch Iranian skills with enjoying the weather,” said Umar Khattab, joint secretary ministry of Culture of Iran.

Persian calligraphic work of Iranian artists reflecting true Islamic spirit was one of the remarkable part of the first day’s event. The artists has a unique distinction of writing the Quranic verses on paper, leather and canvas by giving numerical shapes and geometrical motifs to their works. The Iranian artists have contributed in their own style of carving and painting blended with calligraphic designs to give the art piece an antique touch. The fabulous art pieces of Islamic Constructive Art by Iranian artists explore the technique of constructive art from decades. This work is an amalgamation of architecture, painting and carvings by using wood, paint and teracotta as a medium.

Tauqir Nasir, DG PNCA said the strong relations between Pakistan and Iran extend to the level of people to people contact and were not limited to the governmental levels. Congratulating the Iranian people on the day of Revolution, he said the festival includes screening of Iranian films which will highlight Iranian culture. “Both these ventures will allow people to establish a greater sense of affinity with the people of Iran,” he added.

Besides calligraphic paintings, a wide range of still photographs attracted the large crowd with the title ‘The Progress of Iran after Revolution’ highlighting the socio-economic uplift of the country. The Cultural Week would continue at PNCA till February 19.