Syrian Culture Minister Lubanah Mshaweh and the director of Iran’s Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO), Mohammad-Mehdi Imanipur, also attended the opening ceremony of the festival named “Iranian Cultural Week”.
The ceremony began by screening a documentary about cultural development in Iran and a musical performance and zurkhaneh acrobatics by Iranian groups.
The festival organizes exhibitions showcasing Iranian carpets, costumes, handicrafts, paintings and cuisines.
In a short speech, Imanipur called Damascus a major capital of the Arab world, which has a rich, ancient background, and said, “The Iranian Cultural Week provides the Syrian people with a useful window on the Iranian civilization and affinities between Iranian and Syrian people, and the expansion of relations between them.”
Mshaweh also said that such events help promote Iran’s rich cultural aspects, and praised the grandeur of Iranian civilization, and said that she has previously held talks with Iranian officials on the Silk Road and art and cultural creations.
Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Sobhani also attended the opening ceremony of the cultural week.
“Recent cultural developments have made the role of culture in the expansion of international relations more significant,” he said, and added, “The cultural week is a new chapter in the relations between Iran and Syria.”
Iranian cultural attaché Hamidreza Esmati said, “Today, we should help revive traditional arts, believe in them and introduce them to the younger generation to save them from extinction.”
He called the cultural week a beginning for a series of cultural festivals in Iran and Syria, which he hoped would help deepen cultural ties between the two countries.
“The festival is a bridge that leads our children and youth to cultural safety,” he added.
Mshaweh and Imanipur also signed a cultural memorandum of understanding (MOU), based on which Syria and Iran will collaborate on issues such as joint film projects, music, book translation, and restoration of ancient sites.
Based on the MOU, the two sides also agreed to consider plans to translate books from Iranian and Syrian writers into Persian and Arabic.
Imanipur called the MOU a roadmap to the expansion of relations between the two countries, and Mshaweh said that it will help the Iranian and Syrian people achieve a mutual understanding.
In early September, Mshaweh and a number of her colleagues visited Iran and held meetings with Imanipur and several Iranian officials, including her Iranian counterpart, Mohammad-Mehdi Esmaeili.