The poetry night to celebrate winter, titled "Atash dar Chelleh", was held on January 28, 2015 at ECI Headquarters.
The event, organized by the ECO Cultural Institute in cooperation with the cultural department of the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, was attended by Iftikhar Husain Arif, President and Mohammad Reza Haji Karim Jabbari, Executive Director of the ECO Cultural Institute, Naseer Ahmad Noor, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Iran, Ilhom Akramov, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Ambassador of the United Mexican States in Iran, Cultural Attaches of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan, Alireza Ghazveh, Director of the office for Literary Creations and a group of poets from the ECO countries.
At the outset, pointing out the importance of poetry in literature Iftikhar Husain Arif said:" Poetry as a sublime form of language has always served as messengers of peace and friendship among nations. Hence, ECI holds such like events with an aim to recognize and appreciate the eminent stance of poetry in the ECO Region".
He added: "Literature entails universal values such as love, peace, humanity and eternity, beyond the limit of time and place, a piece of literary work can be created in a way to intertwine the human's aspirations, worldviews, ethos, and traditions of past, present and future into one and; consequently, to bring people of different ethnicities and backgrounds together."
He continued reciting one of his poets for the audience in Urdu, on the long winter nights.
Then Mohammad Afsar Rahbin, cultural attaché of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan explained on the title "Chelleh" or "Yalda", a Persian nickname for the longest nights in winter. Then, he read out a Persian translation of a piece of Urdu poetry by Allama Iqbal. The translation was also in form of a poem.
Naseer Ahmad Noor, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, was the next lecturer of the event. He expressed his appreciation for the efforts made by ECO Cultural Institute to organize the event and said: "Since early days of human life on earth poetry has been his companion in different periods of history, diverse cultures and civilizations; it has served as the message of the people from earlier times to the coming generations."
He added: "as we study ancient cultures, we may find one or several renowned poets. In the period, there was no mass media to inform people, poets have played the role."
He said: "Today we speak of poetry and poets of Persian language. The language has been dominant in our vast region for seven consecutive centuries."
Later at the event, poets from Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan recited their poems on celebration of cold winter nights.
At the end of the program, some awards by the ECO Cultural Institute and the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tehran were presented to the guest poets.