Art And Culture

Iraj Afshar Honored

Iraj Afshar HonoredIraj Afshar Honored

Coinciding with the 90th birth anniversary of the late renowned bibliographer Iraj Afshar (1925-2011), a ceremony to honor him was held at the conference hall of the National Library and Archives of Iran (NLAI) in Tehran last week.

A group of cultural figures including Seyyed Mostafa Mohaqeq, jurist and member of Academy of Sciences of Iran,  Hossein Entezami, veteran journalist,  Ahmad Masjed-Jamei, councilor, Tehran City Council, Seyed Reza Salehi-Amiri, head of NLAI, Abdollah Anvar, veteran translator and codicologist, and Seyyed Mohammad-Kazem Mousavi, theologian and writer, were among the attendees at the ceremony to commemorate Afshar, Mehr News Agency reported.

Ahmad Jalali, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Delegate of the Islamic Republic of Iran to UNESCO, was also present.

“Iranian studies throughout the world are associated with the name of Afshar, who was a prominent expert in medieval and modern Persian manuscripts,” said Salehi-Amiri.

“There are very few people who have devoted their lifetime to impart knowledge in Iranian studies and the vastness and variety of services as rendered by Afshar,” Mohaqeq said.

Masjed-Jamei pointed to Afshar’s scientific researches in designing worksheets for handwritten manuscripts. He also appealed to the relevant officials to enrich the database of Persian-Islamic handwritten manuscripts.

Farid Qasemi, veteran researcher said Afshar believed that “western techniques in the field of bibliography should be localized.”

 Bust Unveiled

A bust of Afshar, provided by the Tehran Beautification Organization, was unveiled. It will be displayed at the Museum of Books and Documentary Heritage of Iran.

Furthermore, a 45-volume collection of Iran’s bibliography of manuscripts, compiled by Hojjatol-Islam Mostafa Derayati, author and religious scholar, and a collection of articles titled ‘Farzaneye Iran Madar (literally Iran-oriented wisdom ),’ a joint work by Gholamreza Amirkhani and Ehsanollah Shokrollahi, about the works and life of Afshar were unveiled and the authors were conferred commendation plaques.

Iraj Afshar was a bibliographer, historian and an iconic figure in the field of Persian studies. He was a consulting editor of Encyclopedia Iranica at Columbia University and a full professor emeritus of the University of Tehran. He also taught at the University of Bern in Switzerland.

He recorded the monuments of Yazd in his three-volume ‘Yadegar-haye Yazd’ (Monuments of Yazd).

Afshar was known as ‘the doyen of standard Persian language bibliographers’ and played a significant role in the development of Iranology in Iran and the world during the second half of the 20th century.

He was also the chief bibliographer of Persian books at Harvard University and was associated with UNESCO.