Mahmud Shalui, who is also the director of a commemoration program for Persian poet Nezami Ganjavi, made the remarks during a press conference held on Sunday to brief the media about the programs to be organized during an eight-day festival for the renowned Persian poet who lived most of his productive life in the 12th century.
There have been claims on several Iranian luminaries such as Farabi and Nezami over the past few years.
In the most recent case, Nezami was erroneously called an Azerbaijani poet by the organizers of an exhibition held at the State Museum of Oriental Art in Moscow in 2021.
In the 2022 commemoration for Nezami, Shalui said, “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.”
Nezami Ganjavi’s masterpieces have been composed entirely in Persian, without even a single verse in the Azerbaijani language.
He is mostly known for “Khamseh”, the two copies of which 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.
This year’s commemoration for Nezami will begin on March 5. Iran’s National Orchestra will perform a concert with poems from Nezami at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall in a closing ceremony on Nezami Day, which falls on March 12.
As part of programs arranged for this festival, copies of “Khamseh” published by the Iranian Society of Cultural Works and Luminaries will be offered.
School choirs will perform on March 12 at the foot of Tehran’s Azadi Tower and university students and scholars with top research on Nezami will be honored.
A sculpture of Nezami will be unveiled in Tehran Vanak Square and streets in several cities across the country will be named after the poet.