Kashan named Iran’s 2018 Book Capital

February 28, 2018

TEHRAN -- The central city of Kashan, famous for its rosewater, historical buildings, and carpets, was selected on Tuesday as Iran’s Book Capital for the Iranian calendar year of 1397 (March 20, 2018-2019).

Ten other cities including Mahabad, Sadra, Dezful, and Yazd were also nominated for the title, the organizers announced during a special ceremony at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall.

In addition, ten villages were crowned Book Loving Villages of the Year during the Festival of Book Loving Villages and Nomads held on the sidelines of the ceremony.

The festival is organized every year to promote reading among villagers and nomads.

Iran’s Book Capital is annually selected by a team of literati and scholars assigned by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

The southwestern city of Ahvaz for 2015, the northeastern city of Neyshabur for 2016 and the southern city of Bushehr for 2017 were Iran’s first, second and third book capitals.

“Kashan, with its rich cultural background, enjoys a special status in the Islamic civilization. The city was also competing with other cities in previous editions and was finally selected this year,” Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Abbas Salehi said at the ceremony.

“The book is the heart of culture. Culture has no meaning in a place where no books are found. Book reading is the life of the culture. If no book is read, culture would not be formed and culture would not stay alive,” he added.

The traditional skills of carpet weaving in Kashan were registered on UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010, and the Fin Garden was also registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2011.

During the Seljuk period (1051–1220) Kashan became famous for its textiles, pottery, and tiles, reaching high levels of accomplishment in each of these cottage industries. Today it is more widely known as a major center for the production of rosewater.

Photo: Officials pose during the Festival of Book Loving Villages and Nomads at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on February 27, 2018. (IRNA/Musa Kurei)

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