Kurd horse’s global registration to develop sports tourism in Kermanshah

January 14, 2023 - 21:30

TEHRAN – Sports tourism in the western province of Kermanshah could benefit from the possible inclusion of the Persian-Kurdish horse on the UNESCO World Heritage list, a provincial tourism official has said.

In the west of the country, the development of sports tourism might be facilitated by completing and registering a dossier for possible global registration of the Kurd horse, Mehdi Khalvandi explained on Saturday.

Furthermore, the horse industry of the western regions of the country could be transformed into a global brand and become more widely recognized and promoted, the official added.

The Kurd horse has always been viewed as a privileged breed due to its superior qualities and long history, but its position in sports and commercial relations has not matched its real potential, he noted.

A lot of benefits can be derived from focusing on the horse industry in Kermanshah province, as it is one of the province’s special economic capacities, he mentioned.

Earlier this week, the Persian-Kurdish horse, also known as the Kurd horse, was added to the National Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

Back in December, the provincial tourism chief Mohammadreza Soheili announced that Iran is developing a dossier for its Persian-Kurdish horse for a possible inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Despite the Kurd horse’s origin going back to the western Iranian province of Kermanshah, it may be registered internationally because it is also bred in the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Turkey, and Syria, he said.

As part of the process to include Kurd horses on the intangible world heritage list, this dossier is being prepared under the title of knowledge and skill for breeding and keeping Kurd horses, he noted.

Persian-Kurdish horse constitutes a group of horses traditionally bred and used by Kurdish People who have lived and occupied today’s western provinces of Iran for several millennia.

The breed originates from western Iran, where the mountainous topography and moderately cold climate have sculpted a unique horse population resistant to harsh environmental conditions.

Kermanshah embraces a variety of awe-inspiring historical sites, including Taq-e Bostan and the UNESCO-registered Bisotun.

Inscribed into the base of a towering cliff, Taq-e Bostan comprises extraordinary Sassanian bas-reliefs of ancient victorious kings to divide opinions. Late afternoon is the best time to visit, as the cliff turns a brilliant orange in the setting sun, which then dies poetically on the far side of the duck pond.

Bisotun is a patchwork of immense yet impressive life-size carvings depicting king Darius I and several other figures. UNESCO has it that Bisotun bears outstanding testimony to the important interchange of human values in the development of monumental art and writing, reflecting ancient traditions in monumental bas-reliefs.

Kermanshah was founded in the 4th century CE by Bahram IV of the Sassanid dynasty. Conquered by the Arabs in 640, it was called Qirmasin (Qirmashin). Under the Seljuk rule in the 11th century, it was the chief town of Kordestan. The Safavids (ruled 1501–1736) fortified the town, and the Qajars repulsed an attack by the Turks during Fath Ali Shah’s rule (1797–1834). Occupied by the Turkish army in 1915 during World War I, it was evacuated in 1917. The construction of a road in the 1950s over the age-old Khorasan track added considerably to the importance of the city.


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