Two Iranian poets, Abu Rayhan Biruni and Attar Neyshaburi, met UNESCO’s criteria to be introduced for 2020 and 2021 as the organization’s luminaries, said the head of the culture department of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO.
In an interview with Iran Daily reporter, Bahman Namvar-Motlaq said that the two figures will be included on UNESCO’s list of luminaries.
Abu Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni was a Persian scholar and polymath from the Khwarazm region in ancient Iran.
Biruni was also an astronomer, historian, botanist, pharmacologist, geologist, poet, philosopher, mathematician, geographer and humanist.
Attar was Iranian Muslim poet, theoretician, and philosopher who had long lasting influence on Persian poetry.
There is no obstacle in submitting the dossiers to the secretariat of UNESCO, he said, given that they are finalized. Iranian National Commission for UNESCO will organize a comprehensive program to pay tribute to the great Persian luminaries.
The inclusion of Iran’s prominent figures in UNESCO’s luminaries list will help introduce the Iranian culture and identity at an international level, Namvar-Motlaq highlighted.
Top Persian figures including Sohrevardi, Avicenna, Biruni, Ghazali and Farabi who have been listed by UNESCO as important personalities constitute part of global thought and are among the world’s scientific and literary heritage, he said.
The Iranian cultural official said that once Iran’s cultural figures are known to the world, Iranians will express their abilities in international fields more powerfully.
Touching upon mutual cooperation between Iran and UNESCO, he said that Iranian National Commission for UNESCO suggested to the international organization to give a prize for ethics in science in the name of Avicenna.
UNESCO accepted the proposal, and now the Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science is awarded every two years to individuals and groups in the field of ethics in science. Iran is the center and founder of the prize, with the authority to give the UNESCO award, he said.
Iran introduces its interesting projects to UNESCO annually to receive the body’s financial and spiritual support, Namvar-Motlaq said.
One of the joint programs on the agenda is barak bafy (weaving barak), originally from South Khorasan Province, he said.
Barak is a kind of cloth that is made from camel or goat hair. This kind of cloth is soft and thick that is woven with traditional textile machinery and has excellent softness and strength. This kind of cloth is mostly woven for men’s clothing, especially their jackets.
This cloth comes in various colors of brown, black, white, cream, and gray. Barak bafy is one of the old traditions of South Khorasan.
The people in South Khorasan previously made ends meet by this handcraft. We asked UNESCO to support and help revive this handcraft, which had faded into oblivion, through joint projects with the international body, said Namvar-Motlaq.
UNESCO accepted sponsoring the project, while calling for domestic organizations to resume practicing the handicraft in order to help the region’s residents financially.