An interview with Behzad Daneshgar

The value of true narratives

January 29, 2023 - 18:26

In the world of fiction and story writing, especially among Isfahan residents, Behzad Daneshgar is a well-known name. From the very beginning to this point, he has valued professional standards, hard work, dedication, and having the appropriate aim in addition to all of this.

Three of his books, "Pedestrian Kings," "Amsterdam Mukab," and "Colorful Mukab," are outstanding examples of narratives concerning pilgrimage and Arbaeen pilgrims.

* To develop as a writer, should one take classes? Did you attend a storytelling course?

I frequently use the example that creating a story is similar to playing football when addressing this subject with my friends. You can play football naturally at home or in school without any special training, but if you want to play professionally, you must have undergone specialized instruction and performed unique workouts!

I started off without any formal training, but as I went along, I tried to take in a succession of lessons in a slow, self-taught method, which is obviously why this stage and procedure took so long.

* What led you to decide to create tales about the pilgrimage of Arbaeen and Karbala?

Regarding the books of Arbaeen, I should note that, by the grace of God, before these books were published, I had traveled to Karbala for the Arbaeen on one or two occasions. Although on these occasions, the thought of writing a travelogue usually crosses one's mind, I wasn't interested in doing so.

Later, with one of my friends who is also a writer, the idea of writing short stories from the narratives of pilgrims to Karbala came to our mind. 

Another problem was that the Wahhabi media at the time misrepresented a number of these motives, pretending that people were traveling for free food and that the Arbaeen pilgrimage was only some sort of entertainment!

We believed that it was important to discuss people's motivations and let them express their beliefs so that they would be remembered in the future and people would know that these people did not travel to Karbala for the Arbaeen pilgrimage due to just entertainment or a desire for a free dinner.

We wanted to show how tough it is for people from all over the world to travel to Karbala at this time of year just to show their love for Imam Hussain.

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