March 25, 2023

Persian News

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Embassy of Iran in Tbilisi denies Azerbaijan’s claims on Nezami

TEHRAN – The Embassy of Iran in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi has denied claims made by Azerbaijan that Nezami Ganjavi is an Azerbaijani poet.

A message published on the embassy’s Twitter on Sunday, which was celebrated as Nezami Day in Iran, reads, “Let’s celebrate the day of Nezami Ganjavi, the great Iranian poet [who was] born, lived, died in the Ganja of ancient Iran.”

The embassy said that the name of Ganja derives from the Persian word “ganj”, literally means treasure, and the city located in present-day Azerbaijan “holds the treasure of Nezami’s legacy.”

The embassy didn’t mention when Azerbaijan had made the claims.

In 2022, the Republic of Azerbaijan laid claims on Nezami Ganjavi, the greatest romantic epic poet in Persian literature, who lived during the 12th and early 13th centuries. 

Shortly afterwards, Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance announced a plan to commemorate the Persian poet in March 2022 during a weeklong program, which was intended to clear up all misunderstandings about Nezami’s original Iranian identity.

Iranian culture minister aide Mahmud Shalui, who was also the director of the commemoration program, said that Nezami must be portrayed to the world with his original Iranian identity.

“Some countries have organized meetings to commemorate the great poet and we praise such movements, but he must be introduced with his original Iranian identity,” he noted.

However, in a press conference for this year’s commemoration for Nezam, Shalui said Iran welcomes any collaboration on luminaries the country has in common with other nations.

Mostly known for “Khamseh”, Nezami Ganjavi brought a colloquial and realistic style to the Persian epic. His masterpieces have been composed entirely in Persian, without even a single verse in the Azerbaijani language.

Two rare copies of “Khamseh” are preserved in Iran and were inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register list in 2011.

“Khamseh” is a pentalogy of poems written in Masnavi verse form (rhymed couplets) with a total of 30,000 couplets. 

These five poems include the didactic work Makhzan ol-Asrar (The Treasury of Mysteries); the three traditional love stories of Khosrow and Shirin, Leili and Majnun, and Haft Paykar; and the Eskandar-nameh, which records the adventures of Alexander the Great.

As part of the program, a rare copy of Nezami’s “Khamseh”, which is preserved at the library of the Shahid Motahhari School and Mosque in Tehran, will be showcased in an exhibition.

The copy and another edition, which is kept at the Central Library of the University of Tehran, are the ones that were registered by UNESCO.

Photo: A portrait of Iranian poet Nezami Ganjavi.


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