Review of Contemporary Poetry and Literature in the ECO Region

Review of Contemporary Poetry and Literature in the ECO Region
ECI hosted a literary session in Saraye Ahle Qalam at the 26th Tehran Int'l Book Fair

The presentation on Contemporary Poetry and Literature in the ECO Region was held on Friday 10th May 2013 at the Dialogue Forum of the 26th Tehran Int'l Book Fair.

Organized by the ECO Cultural Institute in cooperation with Tehran International Book Fair, the program aimed to draw the public attention towards the contemporary literature as one of the cultural commonalities of the region.

The event was attended by Prof. Iftikhar Husain Arif, President of ECO Cultural Institute, the esteemed Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Deputy Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization, Cultural Attaché of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Head of Turkish Cultural Center in Tehran. Also present at the event were a group of men of letters comprising Dr. Mowla'ie, faculty member of Bamiyan University in Afghanistan and Al Zahra University of Tehran, Dr. Shah Mansur Khwajaev from Tajikistan, Dr. Mohamed Kiyoumarsi, the Dean of the Faculty of Urdu Language in Tehran University, Dr. Norouzi, the President of the International Shahriar Foundation along with a large number of literature enthusiasts.

Excerpts of the speeches by the distinguished guests are as follows:


Urdu and Persian Links


Dr. Kiyoumarsi made the keynote speech on Urdu literary movements and their interactions with the Persian language.

While indicating the commonalities and the deep bonds of both languages he said; "The formation of Urdu language in the Indian subcontinent dates back to thousands of years ago and has been deeply influenced by Persian language in words and dialogues."

"Many words of Persian origin have entered the Urdu lexicon over time, gaining meaning which may be anything from slightly to totally different.", he added.


In Pakistan, those who speak Persian are well recognized as scholars." He said."

"In the field of fiction, Urdu is considered the richest language in the world, due to fiction and there are many instances in this regard."

"Literary movements such as realism, surrealism, romanticism, modernism, postmodernism and symbolism found their way into both languages. E. Chughtayy and Intizar Husain are among masters of modern Urdu literature. Realism and Surrealism are seen in the short stories of Sadeq Hedayat as well as Saa'dat Hasan, Mentu and Ghodrat Haider from Pakistan. In the same way, Islamic literary movement has emerged in both countries."

At the end of his speech, he briefed the audience on a book by Prf. Arif titled "Heart and World".


Speech by Dr. Javad Nowruzi from Shahriar International Foundation

Dr. Nowruzi welcomed ECI new President and expressed his hope for the accomplishment of ECI in its regional cultural programs during Prof. Arif's tenure.

"in today world which is hungry for culture, literature and poetry, literature and culture can be permanent supporter of peace in society." He said.


In this region, we have a great culture and valuable assets such as Allama Iqbal in Pakistan as well as Hafiz, Sa'di, and contemporary poets in Iran to take advantage of.


Contemporary Literature of Afghanistan

"ECO region is the common house of us all and we are proud of our common cultural heritage. "said Dr. Mowla'ie, faculty member of Bamiyan University in Afghanistan and Al Zahra University in Tehran.

Over the past 40 years, lack of internal security, foreign invasion and civil war in Afghanistan blocked the promotion of literature. Flocks of poets and writers were either killed or fled to the neighboring countries, Iran and Pakistan.

The Afghan immigrants who went to Iran set up local association of writers which cultivated masters in literature that their ability was recognized by their Iranian counterparts.

Today in Afghanistan, over 300 publications in Persian, Pashtu and Uzbek languages are printed and more than 61 Radio and TV channels are on the air.


Contemporary Literature of Turkey

Later in the meeting, Dr. Mehmet Selim Auzban, the Head of Turkish Cultural Center (Yunes Emrah) in Tehran delivered his speech on Turkish literature.


He noted that the second wave of Turkish poetry started in 1950 and continued until 1970, but its influence on Turkish literature is still evident. The wave enjoys high self-esteem and offers a personalized image of the world.


It doesn't present simulated Western modernization , but reflects Turkey's social circumstances.

Traditional poetry relies on rhymes and defined rules, while the new wave is not stereotyped and tries to create a new style in Turkish literature.


Contemporary Literature of Tajikistan
Dr. Shahmansoor Khajev, a Tajik researcher, addressed the literature of Tajikistan at the meeting.


Speaking on Tajik modern poetry, he referred to the important role of Sadruddin Eini as the founder of Tajik contemporary literature and recited some poem of the prominent poet.


Contemporary Poetry of Tajikistan is divided into two periods. Literature of the Soviet period from 1917 to 1991 and post- independence literature which is from 1991 to the present time .


In the beginning, Tajik Poetry was influenced by Russian poets such as Yutushenku, Pushkin and Yesnyn but following the collapse of the USSR, Iranian poetry entered t Tajikistan. Tajik poets were strongly influenced by their Iranian counterparts including: Forough,Nima Youshij, Shahriyar and Sohrab Sepehri as well as the renowned poet of the subcontinent, Iqbal.


The poets were divided into Pro- Russian and Pro- Iranian groups. In 1970s, Tajik literature reached its heyday which is known as Awakening Period.




Speech by Prof.Dr. Iftikhar Husain Arif

ECI President was the last lecturer at the meeting. Prof. Iftikhar Husain Arif, who is one of the prominent poets of ECO region,

He pointed out that the West does not have sufficient knowledge of the contemporary poets of ECO region.

" you may hardly find accurate translations in Latin languages. Unfortunately our readers are not internationally recognized."


He noted that he is very proud to belong to a country that has been established by a poet. Iqbal introduced a new concept of literature in the twentieth century.


Iqbal did not belong to any particular group and his beliefs was based on Islam.



" To get acquainted with Pakistani literature, we need to study literary works by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Rashid, Miraji, Mentor, Ghulam Abbas, Ashfaq Ahmad, Intizar Husain and so on."


At the end of the program, Prof. Arif recited some pieces of self-composed poetry for

Grand Ayatollah Imam Khomeini, the late esteemed Leader of Islamic Republic of Iran.



May 7, 2013 05:14
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