By |14 Sep 2023 at 12:14 AM
Iran’s Cultural Counselor

Iran’s Cultural Counselor:The Institute of Persian Research at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) hosted a reception and a special lecture on “Indo-Iranian Relations” by Dr. Fariduddin Farid Asr, Cultural Counsellor of Iran, at Sir Syed Academy, AMU.

Prof. Mohammad Usman Ghani, Director of the Institute of Persian Research, welcomed Dr. Fariduddin Farid Asr, Dr. Qaharman Soleimani, and other guests. He stated that Persian is not merely the designation of a language, but an entire civilization and way of life. “It is based on good speech, good behaviour, and good character,” he said, highlighting India and Iran’s mutual relations.

Prof. Azarmi Dukht Safavi, the Center’s Founder and Honorary Advisor, introduced the attendees. “India and Iran have had a longstanding relationship. “Both nations share a common culture,” she remarked. Prof. Safavi also highlighted the accomplishments of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder of AMU, and added that Sir Syed was not only a reformer but also a precursor of modern education, historian, author, editor of Persian texts, expert in multiple languages, thinker, and contemporary of Amir Kabir, the founder of Dar al-Funun in Iran. Similarly, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan established MAO College in India, which eventually evolved into AMU.

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Dr. Fariduddin Farid Asr paid tribute to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in his special lecture and thanked the University and Institute of Persian Research for inviting him.

Dr. Asr, discussing Indo-Iranian relations, stated, “India and Iran are like two sides of the same coin.” Both nations share a similar culture. The Timurid civilization, which originated in Iran, was introduced to India by the Gorkanis (Mughals). This was a time when India, not Iran, was the centre of Persian knowledge and literature.

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“The first texts published in Iran dealt with India as well. India was also responsible for the establishment of Dar al-Funun and other academic institutions in Iran, he added.

Dr. Qaharman Soleimani, addressing the audience, stated that Iranian scholars and critics recognise India’s knowledge and literature. In addition, he admired the scholarly, literary, and research endeavours of Shibli Nomani and Professor Nazir Ahmed. Appreciating the research activities of Allama Shibli Nomani, he stated that although E.G. Brown holds a prominent position in Persian criticism, Shibli is a thousand ranks above Brown. He emphasised that AMU students should follow in the footsteps of such visionaries.

In order to introduce Aligarh Muslim University and its departments, a documentary on the university was also screened at the event.

Earlier, Fatima Zahra, a student in the Persian Department, recited a poem by the late Prof. Dr. Waris Kirmani, former faculty in the Persian Department, praising Iran.

Mohammad Usman Ghani, professor, proposed a vote of gratitude.