Turkish translation of Shahnameh wins Iran’s Book of the Year Award

February 7, 2017

TEHRAN – A Turkish translation of Ferdowsi’s epic masterpiece Shahnameh by Nimet Yildirim, the head of the Persian Language and Literature Department of Ataturk University, has been honored at Iran’s Book of the Year Awards.

The winners of the 34th national and the 24th international edition of the awards were announced during a ceremony held at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on Tuesday.

The ceremony was attended by President Hassan Rouhani, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Reza Salehi-Amiri, and a large number of Iranian and international academics, researchers and writers.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Rouhani said that books can help remove obstacles and help advance society.

“The victory of the Islamic Revolution was the victory of logic, word, expression and reasoning with the help of the leadership of Imam (Khomeini) against tyranny and all kinds of military means,” Rouhani added. 

Rouhani called book the symbol and mirror of a scholar, and said, “A book is thought, thought by which we can transfer whatever has flourished in our minds to others with the strokes of a pen”.

The top winners were next honored receiving their awards at the ceremony.

“In the Middle Path of Moderation in Islam” by leading Islamic law expert Mohammad Hashim Kamali, the founding CEO of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies in Malaysia was the next winner.

Other winners of the international section include “The Sanskrit, Syriac and Persian Sources in the Comprehensive Book of Rhazes” by Oliver Kahl, “Self-Awareness in Islamic Philosophy: Avicenna and Beyond” by Jari Kaukua, and “Eschatology and Exegesis in Late Antique Zoroastrianism” by Mihaela Timus from Romania.

Also included is a Spanish version of “Secrets of God’s Mystical Oneness” (“Asrar al-Tawhid”), a biography of Persian mystic and poet Abu Sa‘id ibn Abul-Khayr (967-1049 CE) translated by Spanish scholar Joaquin Rodriguez Vargas.

The other two honorees in the international section are Timothy Wright, the spiritual director for the Pontifical Beda College in Rome, and Mohammad-Ali Shomali, the director of the Islamic Center of England, for their books on Islam and Christianity. 

The ceremony continued honoring the national winners in different sections.

Mohammadreza Bairami’s “The Barren”, a novel highlighting the oppression of Iraqi Shias during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, received the first award in the fiction category.

“Barren” is about Sadun, a young Iraqi soldier in Dujail, a small town with a large Shia population located near Baghdad, who falls in love with Ahla, a young woman from a Sunni tribe. However, the tribal traditions deny marriage between a Shia and a Sunni.

In the music section, the first award was dedicated to “Analysis of Radif” by musician Dariush Talai.

Additionally, “Bazaar of Nobles” by Arash Sadeqbeigi and “Sandy Fox” by Mohammad Keshavarz shared the first award in the short story section.

Photo: President Hassan Rouhani honors Turkish translator Nimet Yildirim for his work on Ferdowsi’s epic masterpiece Shahnameh during Iran’s Book of the Year Awards ceremony at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on February 7, 2017. Culture Minister Seyyed Reza Salehi-Amiri is also seen in the photo. (President.ir)

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