Int'l Commemoration Conference on Allama Iqbal Lahori
14 June, 2015- Tehran
In the name of Allah
The invaluable effort made by the ECO Cultural Institute in holding an International Conference to commemorate Allama Iqbal Lahori is regarded as an opportunity for the intellectuals and scholars on Iqbal in I.R. Iran and other countries in the region to be inspired once again by the ideas and works of this contemporary peacemaker and to draw new perspectives underpinned by the unity-oriented spirit of Iqbal to encourage further convergence of the Muslim nations.
Undoubtedly, the ultimate ideal of Iqbal, which has its roots in his religious devotedness, was the achievement of unity and integrity among the Muslim nations and indeed in today's international conditions and with special regard to the situation in the Middle East, the Islamic East, in order to find its real position, more than ever before requires to refer to the ideas and thoughts of Iqbal.
Iqbal was a multidimensional character; while being religion oriented and having firm belief in rich cultural capacities of Islamic societies, he was seeking modernism and bilateral interaction with the world's civilizations. His valuable works, which bridge the gap between the spiritual domain of the subcontinent and the western philosophy, even many years after his demise are still applicable to solve the problems of human beings.
The pure love he had toward Iranian culture and people, which is reflected in all his works, has made such a great personality admirable in the heart of the Iranian nation. It's an honor to pay homage to such dignified character that has become a common cultural and historical legacy between Iran and other countries in the region.
Distinctive features of our region which makes it different from the rest of the world is that throughout history many luminaries, like Iqbal, have been nurtured by this traditional civilizations, who are regarded today not only as the intellectuals of their own country but their enormous spirits have also traversed the geographical boundaries and the light of their wisdom has illuminated different corner of the world.
Thanks to the common history and civilization, today we realize that with the help of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the regional convergence is experiencing a growing trend; however, the balance point of such cooperation has been founded on the promotion of economic collaboration. Fortunately, the other aspects of regional cooperation, it's spiritual and cultural aspect, in particular, have also been promoting through the support provided by the ECO Members States. Our historical civilization in the region also affirms the notion that apart from boosting our economical relation we should give equal opportunity and put equal effort in boosting our spiritual and humanitarian relations and include these in the agendas of all our cooperation.
It is apparent that the regional cooperation can only achieve its main goal when the decision makers have a relentless focus on comprehensive and sustainable development and evidently the artistic and cultural axes are the back bones of all these collaborative efforts. Only in this way, the self-esteem of our youths reaches its apogee and the future generations can step on and follow the glorious path of their intellectuals with more commitment and perseverance.
ECO Cultural Institute, as an important axis of the Economic Cooperation Organization, under the leadership of H.E Mr. Iftikhar Hussain Arif, who is among the literary and cultural luminaries, has succeeded in playing its important and influential role through employing new and creative methods. The overall assessments of the measures taken by the Institute over the past years indicate that the measures and effective steps which have been taken were in line with the sincere and honest goals and wishes of its founders.
While appreciating the efforts made by the esteemed president of ECO Cultural Institute and his colleagues and those who have contributed to organize this event, I would like to emphasize that the Islamic Republic of Iran as the host country of this prominent regional institute will render any support, as before, to promote cultural cooperation and to boost the spirit convergence among the countries in the region. It is anticipated that in future other countries in the region support and encourage the worthwhile activities of this institute and actively participate in the art and literary programs.
While appreciating your attention and patient, I would like to conclude with a poem of Iqbal:
When the string of unity fell from the hands of the nation,
Hundred knots were tied on our work,
We are desperate in the world like stars,
We are alien friends for each other,
Joint these separate papers together,
Revitalize the tradition of love.