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The latest cultural headlines in the media.
Official laments on lack of Arabic translations of Persian works
Tehran Times: Iran’s Art Bureau Director Mohsen Momeni-Sharif lamented the limited translation of Persian literature into Arabic.
Attending the opening ceremony of the Sudanese Culture Week, Momeni-Sharif Sharif said that in comparison to Arabic books translated into Persian, Iranian books are not introduced in Arab countries.
Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini, his Sudanese counterpart Al-Samawal Khalfallah and the Sudan Ambassador to Tehran Suliman Abdel Towab El-Zein attended the event at the Vahdat Hall.
He also pointed to poets Muhammad Miftah al-Faituri and Tayeb Salih as two crucial cultural figures in the Arab world who were from Sudan.
At the ceremony, Sudan Ambassador to Tehran El-Zein also spoke and expressed his thanks to Iranian officials for supporting the cultural week.
During the opening ceremony, he also said that the embassy staff along with their wives did their best for holding the event and added that in his view they have achieved a great deal.
Next, Sudanese minister of culture Al-Samawal Khalfallah expressed his thanks to his Iranian counterpart for holding this event saying that Iranians and Sudanese connect with each other through Islam.
After that, Iranian culture minister Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini said that Iran will also hold a culture week in Sudan in the near future.
He also urged boosting bilateral cooperation between the national libraries of two countries and also the establishment of an Iranology department at the Sudanese National Library.
A number of Tehran galleries showcased graphic designs, calligraphy works and handicrafts from the country during event and a number of Sudanese artists and literati participated in various other programs.
The event has been organized with the help of the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and Iran’s Art Bureau.
Rumi poetry, sama inspire Iranian jeweler
Tehran Times: Combine elements of the poetry of Iranian mystic and poet Molana Jalal ad-Din Rumi (1207-1273) with sama, a Sufi ecstatic dance, and view the most beautiful jewelry designs at the exhibition currently underway at Tehran’s 66 Gallery.
Created by young artist Amir-Hossein Delbari, frames displaying the jewelry sets including rings, necklaces, bracelets as well as small statues doing the sama dance of the dervishes, which bear the poetry of Rumi, are hanging on the walls.
“I love Rumi’s poetry for its rhythm and harmony and when I started this project, I was seeking a kind of form to fluently express the moral fervor and lofty spirit of Rumi’s poetry,” Delbari said in a press release on Monday.
“I discovered sama, which is filled with wisdom, love and affection, and began to create the new works inspired by sama in combination with the poetry of Rumi,” he added.
“The conventional usage of the hat worn by dervishes in sama was meant to stand as a symbol for dervishes. All those who have the slightest knowledge of wisdom know dervishes are implied by these signs,” he elaborated.
“The forms used by dervishes in sama have high potential to be manipulated in jewelry designs easily and I tried to visualize Rumi’s poetry via these forms,” said Delbari who is a student of prominent sculptor Parviz Tanavoli.
He added that he never overlooks the world’s modern technologies, since they have been created to help remove obstacles in the way and improve quality.
“Since not many people in the world can read Persian, they pay more attention to the forms. Hence, I decided to add form to the calligraphy to help viewers realize what was on my mind,” he stated.
He also talked about his motives in making jewelry and said, “I personally meant to show that an artwork is not merely what goes on display on the walls of a gallery or is put in the corner of a house. Jewelry is much more practical.”
Having made use of silver and bronze, Delbari also explained about the colors used in his works. “I tried to make use of more colors, since silver is a monochrome. Bronze and precious gems are used to add more colors.”
Many outstanding artists, including gallery curator Sadeq Tabrizi, Masud Arabshahi and Jinus Taqizadeh, attended the opening ceremony of the exhibit, which will continue until June 27 at No.142 Somayyeh Avenue (between Mofatteh and Ramsar streets).
Edinburgh Book Festival Focuses on Revolution
Iran News: The Edinburgh International Book Festival will bring together 800 authors from 40 countries as the world's largest literary gathering turns the spotlight in August on revolution and the world in a state of change.
"In this, the year that the new Europe comes of age (and) popular uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East are challenging life-long regimes, we will examine the theme of Revolution," Festival Director Barley told the festivals' program launch on Thursday.
"From Libya to China, India to the USA and the recent controversies involving Twitter and Wikileaks, audiences and authors...will explore the power of the written word to provide a compelling commentary on the world around us."
The book festival runs from August 13 to 29 in the Edinburgh city center, along with the International Festival, the Fringe, military Tattoo and jazz and blues festival to provide the world's largest annual artistic extravaganza which doubles the population of the Scottish capital to around one million people.
The festivals also bring around 250 million pounds ($406.4 million) to the Scottish economy.
"The revolutionary theme extends into debate," said Barley. "The first part of the festival (is) looking at what might be coming to an end, and the second part, what is the future?"
Veteran English journalist and television presenter Joan Bakewell will explore themes likely to define the 21st century.
The literary feast runs the gamut from former U.S. CIA operative and Osama bin Laden expert Michael Scheuer and former British MI5 intelligence chief-turned-crime-novelist Stella Rimington to noted historian and international literary figures such as Scotland's Tom Devine and London's Peter Ackroyd.
In the children's section, authors from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and Finland will help entertain youngsters looking at such themes as emerging e-books and their future and market.
Scottish author Alisdair Gray will open the book festival on the 30th anniversary of the publication of his acclaimed novel Lanark. To round off the festival, a stellar cast including Gray himself will give a full-length performance reading of his new work, Fleck.
Barley described this particular world premiere as "perhaps the most ambitious event we have ever attempted."
Islamic Encyclopedia Underway
Iran Daily: Work is underway to establish the first global Islamic historical encyclopedia of its kind on the haj, Makkah, the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
Involved in the preparation of the encyclopedia are Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Haj Research and King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archive (Al-Darah), En.news.maktoob.com.
Nasser Baqmi of the Institute of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for Haj Research said the circuit will be documenting everything related to the haj, Makkah, as well as the two holy mosques in addition to organizing seminars and forums related to the objectives.
The institute currently has a databank and a historical record going back a quarter century.
“We are working on the establishment and the building of a databank for the Islamic world about the haj and Makkah and the holy sites and will be available for the circuit to work on a dictionary, pointing out that the agreement enables researchers from the institute to take advantage of the historical sources for Makkah,” he said.
For his part, Abdullah bin Saleh of the King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archive and the project manager said the project includes three tracks: the writing and documentation about the themes and elements of the haj over different historical periods; the documentation and writing about the activities of government sectors and nongovernment sectors related to the haj; and documenting the movement of pilgrims in the Muslim world.
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