Book viewing Baha’i faith as political body wins Jalal Literary Award 

January 15, 2023 - 18:43

TEHRAN – A book examining the Baha’i faith as a political organization has won the Jalal Al-e Ahmad Literary Award in the documentation category.

Written by Hamidreza Esmaeili, “Political Organization of the Baha’i Faith 1892-1979” has been published by the Political Studies and Research Institute in Tehran.

In this book, the writer compares the Baha’i faith with the Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization, accusing its followers of spying on Iranian governmental centers.

The book also describes the Baha’i faith as an opposition group active abroad and in the country, lobbying against Iran in international political circles.

Esmaeili also says the Baha’i organization uses topics such as human rights and the environment as a cover for its activities.

The book illustrates that based on its new plan launched in the 1990s, the Baha’i organization ultimately aims to overthrow the Iranian government and take the control of the country. 

The winners of the 15th edition of the Jalal Al-e Ahmad Literary Awards were honored in a special meeting a Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on Saturday evening.

The award worth 2.5 billion rials (about $6,250 based on Iran’s free-market exchange rate: $1 = 400,000 rials) is Iran’s most lucrative literary prize.

“Aqeela” by Elham Amin that fictionalizes the life story of Hazart Zeinab (SA), sister of Imam Hussein (AS), and “The Battle of the Straits”, a book by Mostafa Rahimi about IRGC commander Hassan Baqeri’s key role in Operation Fath al-Mobin during the Iran-Iraq 1980-1988 war, were awarded honorable mentions in the documentation section.

Winners of honorable mentions each will be awarded 500 million rials.

The novel category had no winner, while “Sur” by Hossein-Ali Jafari and “Azrael: Veteran” by Nima Akbarkhani won honorable mentions.  

“Sur” illustrates connections between Quds and Karbala by recounting the story of an old Palestinian man who attends an Arbaeen gathering. The novel also provides a deep insight into the condition of the Islamic world between the lines due to the turbulent history of Palestine.  

In “Azrael: Veteran”, Major Hamidreza Hedayati is tracking the enigmatic murderer Ali Alizadeh on a mission from Tehran to Nicosia in Cypress.

“Lover Virus” by Majid Rahmani was picked as best short story. This book comprises 18 short stories on various topics.

This year’s literary review category also had no winner. “Watching Narrative: Analytical Study of the Method to Transform Story Elements from Narration to Drama” by Majid Aqai and “Literary Self-Criticism: A Treatise in Self-Criticism in Literary Studies” by Mehrdad Nosrati received honorable mentions.

Several books were awarded on the side sections.

In the Qassem Soleimani Section, “The Hajji Qassem Whom I Know: Narratives about a 40-Year Friendship” by Saeid Allamian and “Perhaps, Before Morning Prayer Call” by Ahmad Yusefzadeh shared the award.

“Jihad in the Quarantine” by Forugh Zal won the award in the COVID-19 and Health Defenders Section.

The award for best editing was shared by “This Is Syria: Women Are Talking about the War” by Zohreh Yazdanpanah and “Faces of Silence” by Mohammad Qaemkhani.

Photo: Writer Hamidreza Esmaeili (R) accepts a prize for his book “Political Organization of the Baha’i Faith 1892-1979” during the 15th Jalal Al-e Ahmad Literary Awards at Vahdat Hall in Tehran, January 14, 2023. (Fars)


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