Speaking at the first meeting of the board of policy making of the 9th Imam Reza Festival, Dr. Mohammad Hosseini stated, “All organization and institutions need to conduct special programs during the birthday anniversary of Imam Reza.”
Referring to the compilation of a 70-volume book of the culture of Khorasan by Mr. Atarodi, the minister added, “We need to identify great figures like Mr. Atarodi, and the time has come for the compilation of the encyclopedia of Imam Reza just as Imam Ali encyclopedia has been compiled.”
Introducing the 9th Imam Reza festival as an apt opportunity for the presentation of outstanding and magnificent works, Dr. Hosseini said, “We should start composing a song about Imam Reza right now and since there is high capacity in school songs, a repertoire of these songs can be prepared in line with the promulgation of Razavi culture.”
Commenting on film section of the festival, he said, “Considering the specified plans, we expect the production and distribution of some great feature films. Moreover, the Art Deputy of Ministry of Guidance is supposed to make great theatres and prepare magnificent works of visual arts with the theme of Imam Reza and his followers”.
“These programs need to be conducted with the participation of people. In the 8th festival, some states and provinces held the opening and closing ceremonies in public places such as shrines, mosques and stadiums so that large group of people could take part”, said the director of board of policy making of the festival. He added, “just as Ashura and Moharam ceremonies are held with the active participation of people, celebrations like this should be held with the enthusiastic participation of people as well”.
Calling for the serious participation of the Charity and Endowment Organization, he said, “The board of public culture has declared one day of the Ten-days of Generosity for Imamzedeh Saleh. It is an apt opportunity to hold programs like the memorial of Shahcherahg.”
Commenting on the International section of the festival and calling for the active participation of all cultural counselors, the minister of Islamic Culture and Guidance said, “Special ceremonies should be held in places where signs of the Ahl al-Bayt still exist, like Karbala, Basra, Egypt, Zeinabiyeh (mausoleum of hazrat Zeinab in Damascus), etc. and also in places related to Imam Reza”.
Asserting the need for a boost in the international activities, he added, “The presence of Ordoghan of Turkey among people commemorating Imam Hussain’s martyrdom on the occasion of Ashura had a positive international impression. On the occasion of Imam Reza festival we should arrange programs in foreign countries and invite heads of state to attend the programs; it would yield good results.”
“The board of Iranians abroad, Iranian schools abroad, the Islamic Radios and Televisions union, Ministry of Science, etc. should be more active. For instance, in special occasions, the Ministry of Science sends special packages to students. They can provide similar packages for the anniversary of the birthday of Imam Reza, too. We need to focus our activities on producing valuable works, e.g. translation of books into different languages and the dubbing of films with the theme of Imam Reza. It would certainly be effective”, added Dr. Hosseini.
Calling for the active participation of special deputies of the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance, he stated, “We have about 3000 publications in our country. If the deputy of journalism takes this matter more seriously and these 3000 publications deal with this subject, it will produce a substantial effect. The cultural deputy should purchase and distribute books suitable for different age levels.
He also asked for more construction projects to be named in the name of Imam Reza.
In his concluding remarks, he added that some good suggestions should be proposed to the government and the parliament. He also contended that producing excellent and outstanding works requires cooperation from all organizations.
Early in this meeting, Dr. Fadakar, deputy of finance and administration of Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance, delivered a report of the two-day meeting in Mashhad and said, “Continuous, in-house criticism is a necessity to keep the festival fresh and original, not confining ourselves to mere repetition in the festival.”
He also delivered his report in three parts: international, college and rural divisions and added, “Constructive suggestions have been proposed by the International Division and the International Board has been formed with the centrality of Islamic Culture and Communication Organization. Translation of the selected works, multilingual web page and the presentation of the productions of topical festivals to the International Division were among these suggestions. The College Division and Rural Division were respectively taken care of by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Supreme Board of Cultural-Artistic Clubs of Mosques.
In this meeting, the International, College and Rural Divisions delivered their reports, too.
At the end of the meeting, the proposition of re-naming the Imam Reza Festival of Art and Culture to “International Festival of Imam Reza” was set forth and approved by the board.