SHAFAQNA– The historic Iranian city of Hamedan is to host a weeklong series of conferences that works on chain registration of cultural sites and discusses the role of religions that sit along the ancient trade route “the Silk Road”.
The Sixth international conferences on the Silk Road will start its work in the northwestern city of Hamedan 23-30 September 2019. Participants in this conferences will discuss various ways on how to chain register cultural sites located along the old commercial route, inter-religion and spirituality issues.
Secretary-General of the UNESCO-Iran National Commission Hojjatollah Ayoubi who was addressing reporters in Tehran September 3 has said that as a country that sits in the center of the Silk Road, Iran is trying to expand ties with the United Nations Education Cultural Scientific Organization –UNESCO-. Ayoubi added that the Silk Road was not a trade route alone and indeed was a juncture for meeting of cultures. “The conferences in Hamedan will remind the guests that it was a road of poetry, literature, mysticism and spirituality”, Ayoubi explained.
Officer-In-Charge UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, Cvetan Cvetkovski, hailed the Islamic Republic as one of the most active member states of the world cultural organization since its establishment in 1945. Cvetkovski also elaborated some aspects top on the agenda at the upcoming events in Hamedan that include cultural and artistic programs, meeting with local communities, cultural interactions and interfaith dialog.
The Officer-in-Charge of UNESCO said Iran is ranked 10 among the countries that have registered their cultural heritage with UNESCO. At the moment 24 Iranian locations are on the World’s Heritage List while 57 others are waiting for UNESCO examinations.
The governor of Hamedan Province as well as the city’s mayor were other officials who provided more details about the conferences.
One of the topics at Hamedan forums is interfaith dialog and spirituality on the Silk Road. Shafaqna asked head of UNESCO-Iran commission, Hojjatollah Ayoubi, how they want to discuss spirituality on the Silk Road, a belt that stretches from the very Far East of Asia to the coast of the Mediterranean?
Ayoubi told Shafaqna that “Several prominent guests are expected to attend the forum on interfaith dialog and spirituality and one of the main topics in this regard is that monotheistic religions -particularly Islam- have lived alongside other religions in the nations of the Silk Road and inter-religion dialog is an accepted phenomenon among religions. Violence and wars are usually created by foreign political forces. The identity of divine religions is unity and this is the message the forum will try to convey.”
In response to the same question, Cvetan Cvetkovski said, “It is a very complicated topic as the Silk Road is very long and it is about not only the exchange of goods but also the exchange of ideas, art, music, languages and of everything that forms the human civilization. The Silk Road is the idea of diversity and tolerance and a historical example of how different cultures and religions coexist, tolerate and cooperate because all those sometimes-different religions have different ideas but the core idea is the same: human dignity, tolerance, coexistence, respect for others, solidarity. At this conference, we have different participants of different countries of the Silk Road: of Muslim, Christian Catholic, Christian Orthodox, Taoists, Buddhists and even Shinto backgrounds. The idea was to put together the representatives of major religions along the Silk Road to exchange in general and to focus the influence of religion and religious dialog on the cultural heritage along the road. Everything is culture. UNESCO’s point of view in this conference will be culture and anything that could influence culture.”
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