|Tehran hosts Ghazni Night||
Afghan Minister of Information and Culture Sayed Makhdoom Raheen, Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hosseini, and a number of officials and literati attended the ceremonies arranged for the night.
“After a thousand years, Ghazni will smile this year as it will be the Capital of Islamic Culture in 2013,” Raheen said in a short speech at the ceremony.
The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) had selected Kairouan in Tunisia, Tlemcen in Algeria and Ghazni in Afghanistan as the capitals of Islamic culture for 2009, 2011, and 2013.
“There is a sad difference between Ghazni and the two other cities,” Raheen said.
“Many of its cultural works and sites are buried under the earth as a result of the many dreadful tragedies that have occurred over the past millennium,” he added.
“The city has been whipped over the centuries. It is no more the city in which (the Persian poet) Farrukhi Sistani fell in love every day. The period of happiness, mirth and music described in the divans of (Persian) poets under (the Ghaznavid kings) Mahmud and Masud all denote a happy and luxurious life, and the rise of the Persian poetry and Islamic civilization during the period,” he stated.
“From the modern world’s point of view, the reputation of Ghazni is not for the great sultan (Mahmud) who conquered the other countries. Idiocy is not a source of honor. Ghazna is important since it played a key role in the transfer of science. Polymath Al-Biruni found his way to India as result of a great king like Mahmud,” he added
Raheen said that culture ministers from the Islamic countries would attend a meeting during April to celebrate the selection of Ghazni as the Capital of Islamic Culture.
Located about 140 kilometers south of Kabul, today Ghazni (also Ghazna, Ghaznin or Ghuznee) accommodates approximately 140,000 inhabitants.
The city used to be an important and prosperous junction on the commercial route between Iran and India.
The city was the capital of the Ghaznavid Empire, which lasted from the 960s until the last half of the 12th century. Sultan Mahmud (971- 1030), the most prominent ruler of the dynasty, spread his rule from the current Azerbaijan over Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of northern India including major parts of today’s Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The Sultan’s court attracted artists, writers and scientists. Among them were poet Ferdowsi, polymath Al-Biruni and many other Persian luminaries.
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