Scholars commemorate historian, manuscript expert Iraj Afshar

March 10, 2016 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Iranian scholars gathered at the National Library and Archives of Iran (NLAI) on Tuesday to commemorate the name and memoirs of the historian scholar and manuscript expert Iraj Afshar (1925 – 2011) on his 90th birth anniversary.

The ceremony opened with the message of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, in which she said that the role of Afshar in the promotion of Iranology in the world was regarded as inimitable.

She has expressed her gratitude to the master for his significant achievements and his role in promoting Persian culture and literature, the library announced in a press release on Wednesday.

Bokova has also noted her awareness that the master inherited his spirit of sacrifice for Persian culture and literature from his father’s love for Iran and the Persian language.

The master in all his official positions tried to preserve and promote cultural heritage as the best means for deeper dialogues, the message said, adding that it is a great honor for UNESCO to respect the rare achievements of the master and his life.

In his short speech at the ceremony, NLAI Director Seyyed Reza Salehi-Amiri also said that the young generation of today is a product with deep roots in older times.

“It is our duty to respect the great figures of this country. We must respect them so that the youth learn to respect us,” he said.

“The youth must know that the culture of today is indebted to the great roots of the past,” he added.

Department of Islamic Sciences of the Academy of Sciences of Iran Director Mostafa Mohaqeq-Damad, also present at the ceremony, said that Iraj, like his father (Mahmud was one of the founders of Tehran’s Dar-ul-Fonun School), was an honest person in the service of Persian culture and civilization, and the people of Iran will never forget them.

Iraj Afshar was the chief bibliographer of Persian books at Harvard University. Afshar was associated with UNESCO and taught at the University of Bern and Tehran University.